What Are the Steps to Open a Bar?

Entrepreneurs considering opening a bar or nightclub need to keep some important steps and information in mind. A bar requires steps that other businesses do not.


Write a business plan. Outline the kind of bar that will be opened, what kind of clientele it will cater to and what kind of entertainment it will be offering. A well-crafted business plan can help a potential bar owner secure financing.


A bar owner needs three very important business licenses before the establishment can open--a liquor license, a business license and a license to play copyright music in the bar (acquired through ASCAP).


Find a location that is accessible but not crowded by other bars. Check with the city zoning office to see where a bar can legally be opened, and then scout those areas for the best possible location.


Have enough start-up capital to hire a sufficient staff, purchase at least one week's worth of supplies and to do preliminary marketing and advertising.


Consider having food served in the bar. Food will give customers a reason to stay around longer than just coming in for one or two drinks, and food will also be another stream of revenue.