The state of Mississippi, like the rest of the United States, requires valid liquor licenses for retailers, restaurants and bars to sell alcoholic beverages. Violating liquor laws is a serious civil matter that could result in both civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. The best way to avoid potential legal problems is to get a valid Mississippi liquor license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and obey any laws and regulations set by the state government.
Visit the Mississippi State Tax Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control division website (see Resources below) and go to the “Forms” section.
Download the application package for a new Alcoholic Beverage Retailer’s Permit. This provides more than 25 pages of instructions, information and application forms for liquor licensing in Mississippi.
Fill out the basic application included in the documents package honestly and completely. You will also be required to fill out the included “Supplemental Information” form depending on your type of business. Licensing in Mississippi is typically categorized into package stores, on-premises clubs and on-premises private clubs.
Take your fingerprint cards to your local police station and get fingerprinted. The fee will vary depending on the jurisdiction, but is usually only $5 to $20 in most areas. Some stations will do this service for free. Your fingerprints will be run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database to ensure you do not have a recent and serious criminal history, especially concerning drugs, alcoholism, theft or violence.
Gather required documents, including copies of the last three years of business tax returns in Mississippi, a copy of your business lease or property deed, a floor plan of your business, a menu if you are running a restaurant or other food service company and a copy of a $5,000 surety bond from your business insurance company.
Get your application forms notarized by two witnesses. This can be done at courthouses, banks, notary services and sometimes tax firms.
Gather your application forms, document copies, fingerprint cards and a $32 money order or cashier’s check (made payable to ABC-FF). The $32 fee is required for your FBI background check. Include a separate money order or cashier's check for the amount of your required license payment, which will range from zero to $9,025 depending on the type of business operation. Full information is included in your downloaded application packet. Mail your payments, document copies and required forms to the address noted in the form instructions. It will take about four to six weeks to learn the status of your Mississippi liquor license application.
Remember that if you owe any personal or business state taxes to Mississippi your liquor license application will not be approved until the situation is resolved.