How to Start a Sports Bar in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from

Starting a sports bar in Wisconsin is a simple but lengthy process. You should hire an attorney to complete most of the process for you if you need assistance in completing the required forms. When you begin, keep in mind that you are trying to attract avid sports fans to your location, so you will want to keep if fun for them and provide a unique sports viewing environment. You have to give them a reason to come to your bar to watch the games.

Create and document your business plan, which will will help you evaluate your business' economic viability. The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network and the U.S. Small Business Association provide free resources to help you create a business plan.

Find a location for your sports bar. It is most cost-effective to rent or purchase a location that was already a bar at one time in order to limit your renovation costs.

Choose a structure for your business--it can be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability partnership and more.

Choose a name for your business. Try to pick one that will is unique and run a search to find out if the name is already registered in the Wisconsin. Search by checking the phone directory, real estate index and the Department of Financial Institution's Corporate Registration Information System or CRIS.

Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Complete the online application to receive an EIN instantly. There is no fee for obtaining an EIN.

Register your business name with your county Register of Deeds. You must complete the Register of Firm Names form and return it to your county Register of Deeds. If you choose to use your personal name as your business name, you do not have to register your business name.

Complete the Application for Business Tax Registration form and send it to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Include a check or money order for $20. You should receive your registration certificate about 30 days after mailing in your application. You must post your certificate in your bar in a location that is easily viewable.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue PO Box 8902 Madison WI 53708-8902 (608) 266-2776

Call the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to obtain a liquor seller's permit. You must have a permit before you can apply for a license.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue (608) 266-2776.

Apply for a class B liquor license--these can be expensive. Check with your local clerk of municipal court to find out how much you will have to pay. Ask the clerk for a liquor license application. Complete and return it with the appropriate fee. Processing time will vary by municipality.

Decorate your bar with sports memorabilia and large-screen televisions for sports viewing. Offer drink specials during games--especially during games involving the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks and the Green Bay Packers, the state's three major pro sports teams. Host tailgate parties and hold cookouts during the larger events such as the World Series and the Super Bowl. Advertise your events in the local papers and on local radio.



About the Author

Maeri Claire specializes in oral and written communications, and has been writing technical and training documents since 2003. Claire graduated in 2000 from an academy in British Columbia.

Photo Credits

  • Wisconsin state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from