Generally, any application for a license must be approved unless there is good cause to deny the application. Good cause includes, among other things: the history of violations of the ABC Law at the location of the proposed licensed establishment and by the applicant; the applicant’s failure to meet all the statutory eligibility requirements for a license; and any misrepresentation, false material statements, concealment or suppression of information in connection with the application.
The application review period can take up to 50 days depending on the type of license you apply for, the volume of applications submitted and the completeness of your application. Any deficiencies in your application will result in delays or disapproval of your license.
The Application Process
It’s important to investigate the location of your business before beginning the application process. When reviewing your application, the Authority also considers if the location you are applying for has pending disciplinary charges or a history of violations. Even if you were not involved in the prior business, their disciplinary history can have an impact on your application and the length it takes to make a determination on the application.
The ABC Law contains statutory eligibility requirements for individuals applying for a license. Individuals and partners applying for a license must be United States citizens, permanent resident aliens or citizens of a country with a reciprocal trade agreement with the United States. Individuals with a felony conviction in New York State or another state or federal jurisdiction are not eligible to hold a license, unless they have a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities, have received a pardon or have been issued a Certificate of Good Conduct. Certain police officers and individuals whose license was revoked within the last two years are also ineligible.
All manufacturing and wholesale applications are available through New York Business Express as fillable forms. Applications should not be handwritten. You should print a completed copy of the application for submission to the Authority. Applications are mailed to a post office box in New York City.
The examiners review applications in the order they are received. If there are deficiencies in an application, the examiner will prepare a letter detailing any items that need submission, correction or clarification. The applicant is given 10 business days to comply with the deficiency letter.
Once the examiner’s review is completed, the application is forwarded for a determination. An application will either be: disapproved; approved; or conditionally approved.
In the case of a conditional approval the license certificate will not be issued until the applicant complies with the conditions, such as the submission of photographs showing the premises is ready to open.
If an application is disapproved, the applicant has two options: a disapproval hearing or a request for reconsideration. After the applicant has exercised one of the options, it may seek judicial review of the disapproval.
No applicant should manufacture or sell alcoholic beverages until they receive an original copy of their license from the Authority. Licenses can be mailed or picked up at one of our three offices.
All applicants are required to be fingerprinted, including:
- sole proprietors;
- all partners in a Partnership and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP);
- all stockholders, officers, directors, members and managers in a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) with 10 or less shareholders;
- all shareholders holding 10% or more of any class of its shares in a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) with 10 or more shareholders; and
- all officers, directors, members and managers active in management of business in a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) with 10 or less shareholders.
Each applicant principal that is required to be fingerprinted will be instructed to do so on their Application Receipt once the application is received by the Authority. You must follow the fingerprinting instructions.
Individuals currently licensed by the State Liquor Authority do not have the be fingerprinted.
Fingerprinting Forms and Instructions
Liquor and wine sold in New York State are subject to price posting. Price posting is the filing of a schedule with the prices at which manufacturers and wholesalers will sell their products. There are two price schedules: the wholesale schedule of prices charged by manufacturers to licensed wholesalers; and the retail schedule of prices charges by licensed manufacturers and licensed wholesalers to licensed retailers.
New price schedules for wholesale and retail must be posted each month electronically. Farm manufacturers, including farm wineries, farm breweries, farm distilleries and farm cideries, can file prices once a year and only need to update the schedules if prices change.
Liquor and wine can only be sold at the prices stated in the schedules filed with the Authority in order to avoid discrimination and prevent illegal trade practices.
All alcoholic beverages sold in New York State must have an approved brand label affixed or imprinted upon the container. That brand label must be registered with and approved by the Authority.
Brand Label Registration is required for all liquor, beer, wine products, and wine specialties sold in NY. It is also required for wines containing 7% alcohol or less. While wine over 7% alcohol does not require registration, it does require submission of an appointment letter and Federal label approvals.
The purpose of Brand Label Registration is to ensure that labels sold in New York are in compliance with both State and Federal labeling regulations and that the product in the container is safe for public consumption. Further, Brand Label Registrations ensure that no deceptive health/benefit claims are on the label.