Any person or business intending to sell, manufacture or deal in "liquor" in the state of Arizona must apply for--and obtain--an Arizona Liquor License. Arizona also requires that each new liquor license application be submitted through a Liquor License Agent or Broker. Agents act as the liaison between the new licensee and the Department of Liquor License & Control (DLLC). The Arizona Liquor License approval process is detailed and lengthy, typically taking from 65 up to 105 days after the initial filing to complete.
Research liquor license agents or brokers. Arizona requires that each first-time application for a liquor license have an agent or broker attached. Agents act as liaisons between the applicant and the Department of Liquor Control should questions or problems arise. Since hiring an agent can be costly, new applicants should do some research in order to make educated decisions when its time to hire. Although an agent is required, it is still in any applicant's best interest to be fully aware of all necessary steps to obtaining an Arizona Liquor License.
Determine requirements and fees of the applicable liquor license. The total cost of the process is determined by the license category applicable to the situation. Arizona currently offers seventeen different liquor licenses including those for "all liquor" bars, "beer and wine only" bars, domestic microbreweries, liquor stores, private clubs, wine festivals, and hotel-motels. Each liquor license has its own license fee, additional costs and--in some cases--requirements and restrictions. See our Resources section for a link to complete requirements.
Prepare to provide proof of citizenship, residency and business qualifications. All applicants must prove that they are United States citizens or legal resident aliens. Additionally, one must have proof of being a true resident of Arizona. If the licensee is a corporation or LLC, the Liquor Control Board will verify with the Arizona Corporate Commission that there is sufficient qualification to do business in the state of Arizona.
Prepare for both a background and a fingerprint check. Prior to applying, applicants must visit a local Arizona law enforcement office to obtain a copy of their fingerprints. As part of the Arizona liquor license application process, applicants must complete a background questionnaire , submit a set of fingerprints and pay a fee for a Fingerprint Clearance Card. Applicants should be aware that Arizona will not grant a liquor license to any person having a prior felony conviction as recognized by the state of Arizona within five years of the application date.
Prepare for financial disclosure. Applicants should be certain that all relevant financial business is in order. Arizona will not grant a liquor license to any applicant(s) failing to provide the Control Board with complete statements of all financial holdings. Having an Agent will come in handy when its time to put numbers together.
Prepare floor plan diagrams and business geographical data. Liquor license applicants must provide building floor plans of the business as well as the geographic data of all churches, schools and other liquor establishments within a one-half mile radius. With the exception of restaurants, clubs, hotel-motels, special events, and government establishments, Arizona will not grant liquor licenses to any location existing within three-hundred feet of a church or school building.
Complete the required Arizona Liquor License Training Program. The licensee and all management employees must provide proof of attendance at both the Basic Liquor Law and Management Training classes. Classes are offered year-round at numerous approved businesses throughout Arizona. You will find a Website with class locations and fees in our Resources section.
The actual Arizona Liquor License application is available online. See our Resources section to go print two copies...one for you and one to send in.
Don't rush in filling out your application. Arizona's liquor license requirements, regulations, and restrictions are such that even the slightest error or omission by the applicant can result in delaying the process far beyond the normal time line. Fill out the form completely and carefully.