If you want to sell, distribute, or manufacture alcohol in the State of Florida you must obtain one or several alcohol licenses. The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) oversees the licensing process for alcohol related businesses. They have established strict requirements for those looking to get licensed.
In this post, we will break down the various DBPR licensing requirements and show you how to get a Florida alcohol license:
Step 1: Determine what type of license you need
The first step to getting your alcohol license is to figure out what type of license you need. The Florida DBPR offers dozens of licenses for different kinds of alcohol related activities. These licenses fall into on of the following categories:
- Package sales: permits the sale of packaged beer and wine to be consumer off location
- Consumption on-premises: permits selling beer and wine to be consumed on location
- Speciality licenses: permits the sale of alcoholic beverages at special locations like trains or airplanes
- Quota licenses (liquor license): permits the sale of liquor by package or for on-premise consumption
- Manufacturing: permits the manufacturing of a certain kind of alcoholic beverage
Below are some of the more popular Florida alcohol licenses:
- Manufacturer or Bottler of Wine (AMW): This license lets businesses manufacture or bottle wine in Florida.
- Manufacturer of Wine and Cordials (BMWC): This license lets businesses manufacture wines and cordials.
- Manufacturer/Brewer of Malt Beverages/Beer (CMB): This license lets manufacturers engage in the brewing of malt beverages.
- Rectifier/Blender of Spirituous Beverages (ERB): This license lets businesses rectify and blend liquor.
- Manufacturer/Distiller of Spirituous Liquor (DD): This license lets companies distill spirituous liquor.
- Distributor of Beer and Wine (JDBW): This license allows businesses to distribute beer and/or wine to vendors and other distributors.
- Distributor of Beer, Wine, and Liquor (KLD): This license lets businesses distribute liquor wine and malt beverages to vendors and distributors.
- Distributor of Spirituous Beverages (KLD2): This license allows companies to distribute liquor, wine, and malt beverages to vendors and distributors in wet counties that have a population of 15,000 or less.
- Distributor of Sacramental Wine (JDSW): This license lets the holder distribute sacramental wines to other permit holders.
- State Bonded Warehouse Permit (SBW): This permit allows you to operate a warehouse that stores alcoholic beverages.
You can find a full list of Florida alcohol licenses on the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco website.
Step 2: Register your business
Before you apply for your alcohol license, you must register your business with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. You can complete all the registration forms online using the SunBiz e-filing service.
Your business also needs to register with the Florida Department of Revenue to receive a sales tax permit. You can register online using the DOR online registration system or by mailing in Form DR-1.
Step 3: Submit fingerprints
If you are applying for your first Florida alcohol license, you must provide copies of your fingerprints with your application. You can have your fingerprints taken by a live scan vendor approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Step 4: Get a surety bond
The Florida DBPR requires alcohol sellers and distributors to post a Florida surety bond as part of the licensing process. The bonds help ensure that the licensee complies with all licensing requirements and enable the government and consumers to seek financial compensation for damages caused by the licensee.
The required bond amount for Florida alcohol bonds varies depending on the type of license. Below are the required amounts for a few popular bonds:
- Manufacturer or Bottler of Wine (AMW): $5,000
- Manufacturer of Wine and Cordials (BMWC): $5,000
- Manufacturer/Brewer of Malt Beverages/Beer (CMB): $20,000
- Rectifier/Blender of Spirituous Beverages (ERB): $25,000
- Manufacturer/Distiller of Spirituous Liquor (DD): $25,000
- Distributor of Beer and Wine (JDBW): $25,000
- Distributor of Beverages in Dry Counties (EDB): $25,000
- Distributor of Beer, Wine, and Liquor (KLD): $100,000
- Distributor of Spirituous Beverages (KLD2): $100,000
- Distributor of Sacramental Wine (JDSW): $25,000
- State Bonded Warehouse Permit (SBW): $1,000 to $5,000
No matter the required bond value, you only need to pay a small percentage of the total amount as a premium. When the surety company issues your bond, they will determine your exact premium by evaluating your industry experience and other factors.
Step 5: Submit alcohol license application
Once you’ve met all the requirements, you can submit your alcohol license application to the DBPR. You can complete the application online using DBPR Online Services portal or you can print the application and mail it to one of the DBPR district offices.
When filling out the application form, you will need to provide the following information and documents:
- Local zoning approval
- Copies of fingerprints
- Health approval (on-premises licenses)
- Affidavit of Applicant
- Sketch of Premises (on-premises licenses)
Your application must also include a licensing fee. This amount varies depending on the type of license. You can visit the ABT list of licenses to find the license and application fees for each license type
Florida alcohol license frequently asked questions
How do you renew a Florida alcohol license?
When your license is set to expire, the Florida DBPR will send you an email notification 90 to 120 days before the expiration date. After you receive the notice, you can renew your license online using the MyFloridaLicense.com online service. During the renewal process, you will need to pay the annual license fee.
How much does a Florida alcohol license cost?
The annual license fee for a Florida alcoholic beverage license ranges between $28 and $1,820, depending on the type of beverages you sell, and the county in which your business is located. You can find your exact fee by reviewing the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco fee schedule.
How EZ Surety Bonds can help with a Florida alcohol license
When you are ready to get your Florida alcohol license, EZ Surety Bonds offers a quick and simple process for obtaining your surety bond. Apply online today or contact us to learn more.