Event planners, liquor store owners and other parties who furnish alcohol can run into issues when they do not understand or comply with the requirements associated with liquor licenses.
To avoid complications and penalties, you would be wise to avoid the following common mistakes if you plan on serving or selling alcohol in Minnesota.
Mistake #1: Assuming you do not need a license
It may be obvious that a bar or restaurant would need a license to serve or sell beer, wine and liquor. However, numerous other situations can require a person to secure a license to serve or sell alcohol.
For example, if you have an event for a political, religious or social group and want to serve alcohol, you will probably need a license. Theaters that serve alcohol will need a license, as will hotels and sports facilities. Liquor stores, convenience stores and venues hosting wine tastings will also require licenses.
Mistake #2: Applying for the wrong license
There are several types of licenses available in Minnesota. You will need to secure the appropriate license based on the type of alcohol you plan to supply and where parties will consume the alcohol. For instance, a small wine bar has different licensing requirements than an establishment serving and selling beer. There are also various permits and exceptions that only apply in very specific instances.
Applying for the wrong license can result in costly delays, particularly if you need it for a specific event or opening. Further, assuming you only need one type of license can leave you vulnerable to serious penalties if you operate without appropriate permissions.
Mistake #3: Violating the rules of the license
Having a license to sell or serve alcohol comes with responsibilities. Failing to follow the rules can result in penalties, including license revocation.
You must comply with the regulations of your license and only furnish the allowed alcohol. Additionally, you may not serve, sell or otherwise provide alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated. Some license holders will also need to post notice and retain specific records.
These are not the only mistakes people make regarding liquor licenses in Minnesota, but they are among the most common. As such, it is wise to avoid them and consult an attorney if you have questions.