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So, you want to open a bar? Here’s the legal side

on 08/04/14 at 11:57 am

Booze News

51CjREN+nhL._SL110_In the book Start Your Own Bar and Club, the staff at Entrepreneur Press and writer Liane Cassavoy explain how you can launch a profitable bar or club, whether you want to start a nightclub, neighborhood pub, wine bar or more. In this edited excerpt, the authors reveal what permits and licenses you’ll need for your new bar.

Mountains of paperwork and lists of laws and regulations go along with opening a bar, including those concerning licenses, taxes, worker safety, liability, sexual harassment, and insurance.

As a business owner, you’ll need some standard business licenses and permits. You should also find out from your accountant which tax forms you need to fill out.

Before you do anything else, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This number will be required for many of your licenses and permits, and all your tax documents. Go to www.irs.gov to obtain an EIN online.

As a bar owner, the two most important agencies you’ll be dealing with are the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and your local Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC agency). Let’s start at the local level.

Bars face different requirements depending on where they’re located. Some states, counties and cities have very complex laws and regulations, while others are fairly simple. However, all states require a liquor license to sell any kind of alcoholic beverage.