ABC announces new liquor license authorizations

Joseph McCullough, Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, announced authorization for the issuance of new on-sale general and off-sale general licenses and authorization for the intercounty transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses.

From Sept. 11, 2023, through Sept. 22, 2023, in counties where such licenses are available, applications for new original on-sale general and off-sale general licenses will be accepted at local ABC offices. During the same period, priority applications will be accepted for the intercounty transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses, as authorized.

Only one priority application will be accepted from any one applicant per county for each type of license. A fee of $17,335 is to be paid when filing an application for a new original general license and a fee of $6,570, is to be paid when filing a priority application for the intercounty transfer of a general license.

If the number of applicants within a county for a particular type of license/transaction is equal to or less than the number of licenses available, all applicants will be notified that they have 90 days to complete a formal application for their specific premises.

If the Department receives more applications than there are licenses available, a virtual drawing will be held. To participate in such a drawing, an applicant must have been a resident of California for at least 90 days prior to the date of the scheduled drawing. Successful drawing participants will be notified that they have 90 days to complete a formal application for their specific premises.

Unsuccessful drawing participants will be automatically refunded their application fee (minus a $100 service charge) within 90-120 days of the priority drawing but will retain their priority ranking until the following year pursuant to Chapter 1, Title 4 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) § 69.3 (c). Successful participants who file a formal application for a priority license who then decide to withdraw their application, will be entitled to a refund in accordance with Business and Professions Code (BPC) § 23320 and 23959. Pursuant to the provisions of § 12419.5 of the Government Code, if an applicant owes money to the California taxing agencies, a claim against the priority application fee may be made by the taxing agency. If such a claim is made, the amount owed will be deducted from the priority application fee at the time of refund and remitted to the taxing agency.

Applicants are encouraged to file their applications early in the filing period to avoid a lengthy wait.

In the coming weeks, additional information and instructions regarding applications for original and intercounty transfer of general licenses will be made available on ABC’s website.

About the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is the agency of the government of the state of California charged with the regulation of alcoholic beverages. ABC’s mission is to provide the highest level of service and public safety to the people of California through licensing, education, and enforcement. ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.