If your business deals with the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol in New York, you need a liquor license.
The NY State Liquor Authority issues licenses for selling alcoholic beverages. The details of the license application and review process depends on the type of establishment and its activities. Each license type has a different set of application requirements.
All retail applications are provided through New York Business Express as fillable forms:
Applicants for on-premises licenses must notify the municipality (using a form approved by the Authority) of its intent to file the application. The notice must be made at least 30 days before before the application is filed with the Authority. In New York City, the notice is sent to the local Community Board where the premises is or would be located (read more about the Community Board process below).
The 200 Foot Rule & The 500 Foot Rule
It is important to investigate the location of your business before beginning the application process.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law prohibits certain licensees from being issued if the location is on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used exclusively as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship.
This restriction is commonly called the '200 Foot Rule' and applies to any retail establishment where liquor will be sold for on-premises consumption and any retail establishment where liquor or wine will be sold for consumption off the premises.
The '500 Foot Rule' places restrictions on the NY State Liquor Authority from issuing an on-premises retail license for the sale and/or consumption of liquor to any premises that is within 500 feet of three establishments that are currently operating with on-premises liquor licenses, unless the Authority makes an affirmative finding that it is in the public interest to issue the license.
Input from local communities where applicants intend to operate their businesses is an essential part of the NY State Liquor Authority's licensing process. New York City's Community Boards have advisory input into the issuance of licenses and are an important voice for local residents and businesses.
A business applying for a new or renewal liquor license must give its local Community Board 30 days' notice before it files its application. There are fifty-nine (59) Community Boards across the five boroughs. Currently, each has different application and review processes for liquor licenses. Be sure to find out what the specific requirements are from your neighborhood's Community Board.
The NY State Liquor Authority requires that an applicant for a new or renewal liquor license submit proof of the 30-day notice with its application.
For further information, please see the following links: