How much does a liquor license cost in the state of California?
April 09, 2014 4:55PM
California has four license types that, in general, must be purchased on the open market from the existing pool of available licenses. They are:
- 47 - on sale general - full liquor - for restaurants
- 48 - on sale general - full liquor - for bars and nightclubs (over 21 only)
- 20 - off sale beer and wine only - for convenience stores
- 21 - off sale general - full liquor - for markets and liquor stores
Prices vary according to county and license type with the most expensive licenses being in the full liquor category. Full liquor licenses can range from a low of $12,000 to as high as $200,000 with beer and wine being as low a $3-5,000.
The market price of a license is determined by three factors:
- the county
- the license type
- the current market value--based on supply and demand Unless you are able to make contact with a seller directly, your best bet is to contact a reputable liquor license broker.
Important tips when choosing an escrow company to handle your transfer, it is advised that:
- the escrow firm is a third-party to the transaction (the license broker should not own the escrow company to avoid a conflict of interest)
- the agent/broker is familiar with ABC requirements (this is not like an escrow for buying a home).