How to Open a Bar in Texas

by Heather Broeker; Updated September 26, 2017
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Having a business can offer freedom from the usual nine-to-five daily grind. The entrepreneurial spirit also gives you the chance to be your own boss and control your own growth. Opening a bar in Texas is a good way to start a business especially for those with experience with such an establishment. Be aware that laws and regulations may vary in your area or where in Texas you plan to establish a bar. You will need to know the facts on how to open a bar in Texas.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Various licenses and permits depending on location
  • Money to pay for licenses and fees
  • Service of a local attorney (not required, but is recommended)
Step 1

Obtain a business license to open a bar in Texas. All businesses are required to get a business tax certificate and pay any applicable business tax as required by Texas laws.

Step 2

You must obtain a seller’s permit. Texas law states that selling any tangible item requires a seller’s permit or resale certificate.

Step 3

Apply and register with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a Federal Tax ID number and Texas government for a state issued tax ID number. You can’t operate a bar by your lonesome and you will need employees to properly get the job done. You are also required to pay Texas employment taxes using your Texas Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Step 4

Obtain permits and licenses required in your area of business. Depending on location, Texas laws require you to secure an operating permit, health and safety permit, hard liquor permit, beer and wine permit and other licenses required in your area. There are certain classifications that your bar could fall into and different types of licenses and permits fall into different classifications. When opening a bar in Texas, the type of service you provide will determine the type of licenses and permits you need to secure, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Your bar may either serve beverages, food or a mixture of both. If you plan to sell mixed drinks for consumption within the premises of your ba, a Mixed Beverage Permit (MP) should be obtained. A Mixed Beverage Restaurant Permit will need to be obtained (along with a Food and Beverage Certificate) if your bar is primarily classified as a restaurant that serves mixed beverages. Applicable fees would need to be paid as well. A two-year fee for a Mixed Beverage Permit will cost $6,512 on the first application. For a complete list of permits, licenses and fees that your bar will need to obtain and pay, consult the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Opening a bar in Texas requires extensive research when it comes to market and location. A suitable place would either have to be rented or constructed, depending on the budget. An appropriate theme would also have to be considered as a unique theme will ensure success on most cases when it comes to bars and entertainment venues.

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