The application process for retail liquor licenses involves many different steps. Many authorities require a preliminary application followed by a scheduled appointment with an
official to screen potential license applicants. Applications often call for detailed personal information for all members or officers of a business entity including criminal
background checks and credit checks. Some authorities will only issue liquor licenses based on population size and the number of liquor licenses already held in that area.
Liquor license fees range from $500 to $10,000 while all licenses must be renewed.
Businesses who sell alcohol without a liquor license are at risk for severe civil and criminal penalties. This includes businesses that have a liquor license application pending.
Criminal penalties for operation without a liquor license include fines up to $50,000 and six months in prison. A state regulatory agency may prescribe civil penalties of fines up
to $200,000 and permanent revocation of a liquor license.