All across the country, states rely on the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, also known as the ABC. This department is in charge of regulating the purchase, sale, and production of alcohol. Although laws vary from one state to the next, there are several similarities. Different states have different ABC license types. But, for our purposes, we can stick to reviewing liquor license transfers. Essentially, an ABC license is a permit for a business to sell alcohol, either for customers to drink on the premises, or for customers to buy and carry home. Here’s a brief overview to get you up to speed.

What is an ABC License Transfer?

An ABC license transfer is a necessary process that happens whenever a business that sells alcohol has a new owner. When this business moves from one party to another, the ABC license also needs to be transferred. Otherwise, the new owner will be operating outside the law. So, as you can see, the details of this process are important to understand if you’re opening a new business with the aim to sell alcohol.

3 Things to Consider When Transferring a License

Bear in mind the following three things if you’re just beginning the process of transferring an ABC license. Transfer applicants should be aware that all ABC license types have strict regulations regarding alcohol sales. It’s treated as a serious responsibility, so there are repercussions for not following the rules.

It May Require an Escrow Account

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may require the applicant to open a specific escrow account. This depends on which of the ABC license types you’re applying for. In this case, an escrow is held by a third party for any financial obligations that must be met by the new owner. This is actually a great solution for ensuring that each party fulfills its obligations.

Expect an Investigation

When it comes to ABC license transfers, you can also expect the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to investigate the applicant for further information before deciding whether or not to grant the license request.

Transfer Period

In general, this process takes a minimum of one month. In some cases, it can even take up to two months for the ABC license transfer to be complete. So, prepare for several weeks of a pending status.

ABC License Types

  • Solicitor
  • ABC Manager
  • Temporary License
  • Festival License
  • Caterer
  • On-premise retailer
  • Off-premise retailer
  • Wholesaler
  • Manufacturer

Liquor License Transfers: The Takeaway

While the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control sets rigorous standards for the sale of alcohol, you should be able to navigate the process with the right information. The closing of a liquor license escrow is completed once the license has been transferred. If you have any doubts or questions, contact us at Bay Area Escrow. We’ve been through this process before and we’re here to help. Our office can be reached at (925) 831-9099, or simply fill out this contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.