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7 Steps to Obtaining a Nevada Liquor License

Nevada Liquor License

As a liquor license consultant, your primary role is to help businesses obtain the necessary permits to serve alcohol in Nevada legally.

A Nevada liquor license is a legal document issued by the state that allows a business to sell and serve manufactured, imported, or wholesale alcohol to customers. Businesses that wish to sell alcohol in a retail, bar, or restaurant environment must receive a retail liquor license from the county or city it is located in.

In Nevada, all establishments that intend to sell and serve alcohol must obtain a liquor license from the Nevada Department of Taxation. This includes bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and other establishments that want to offer alcoholic beverages to their customers.

Getting a liquor license can be a complicated and time-consuming process involving jumping through many hoops and complying with many state and local regulations. That’s where a liquor license consultant comes in – your purpose is to help businesses navigate the process and ensure they follow all the necessary guidelines.

To help your clients acquire a liquor license efficiently and effectively, you must first learn the ins and outs of applying for a liquor license in Nevada.

Here are seven steps you must take to successfully guide your clients through the process of applying for a liquor license in Nevada:

1. Determine the Type of Liquor License Required

Nevada has two different types of liquor licenses: The Importer/Wholesaler License and the Manufacturer License. For businesses that intend to sell alcohol directly to consumers, like bars, restaurants, or retail stores, it is required to receive licensing through the city or county rather than the state.

Before moving forward with your client’s liquor license application, it’s crucial to determine which type of license is best suited for their business. Getting the wrong type of license can cause all sorts of problems down the line, which is why this step is so important.

2. Understand the Licensing Requirements

Once you have determined the type of liquor license required for your client, it is essential to understand the requirements to obtain the liquor license. These requirements can include meeting zoning regulations, having a valid business license, and ensuring that the business meets health and safety standards. In Nevada, these requirements can vary from city to city, so it can be useful to check the client’s local ordinances when determining what rules must be followed to gain a license.

3. Gather Necessary Documents

The application process requires several documents, including a completed liquor license application, a Nevada business registration form, a business tax permit, a copy of the permit issued by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and a copy of the fictitious firm name certificate (if applicable).

Collect all the necessary documents, then ensure that they are completed thoroughly and accurately. Any missing forms or information could result in the rejection of the application.

4. Submit Application

After completing the application and gathering all the necessary documents, your client’s liquor license application can be submitted to the Nevada Department of Taxation, either by mail, in-person, or online. The department will review the application and supporting documents before granting or denying the liquor license to your client’s business.

Pages 1-3 of the application must be sent to the Incorporated City’s Governing Board for review if the location of the business operations is in one of these cities:

Boulder City, Caliente, Carlin, Carson City, Elko, Ely, Fallon, Fernley, Henderson, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Mesquite, North Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, Wells, West Wendover, Winnemucca or Yerington.

5. Pay Fees

There are several fees associated with applying for a Nevada liquor license, including application fees, annual fees, and fees for special permits.

These fees will vary depending on if your client is applying for an Importer/Wholesaler License or a Manufacturer License. Businesses applying for a retail liquor license will often face higher fees that vary in each city and county.

Annual fees must be paid each year by July 1st. Ensure that all fees always are paid in a timely manner. If fees are not received by July 15th, the license will be canceled. The fee amounts for a Nevada liquor license are listed below in the FAQs section.

6. Purchase a Bond

Businesses applying for a liquor license in Nevada are required to obtain an Original Liquor Surety Bond, which acts as insurance in case the business violates any liquor laws or regulations. This bond is also used to ensure all liquor sales taxes are paid.

Work with a licensed surety bond provider to purchase a bond for your client’s Nevada liquor license application.

The purchase of a bond typically involves a payment of 1% to 15% of the bond’s total, depending on your client’s credit score.

Here are the bond requirements based on the type of business your client has:

Importer and/or Wholesaler Bond:

    • Beer only – $10,000.00

    • Wine, Beer & Spirits – $50,000.00

Manufacturer Bond:

    • Brew Pub – $ 1,000.00

    • Brewer – $ 1,000.00

    • Winemaker – $ 1,000.00

    • Rectifier – $ 50,000

7. Obtain your Liquor License

After completing all the necessary steps, the business will receive the Nevada liquor license from the Department of Taxation if its application has been approved.

Once a business is licensed, it is essential to display the license prominently to avoid any penalties for serving alcohol without a valid permit. Paying the liquor license fees annually is mandatory in order to keep the license valid each year.

By following these seven steps, you can help your clients easily navigate the process of applying for a liquor license in Nevada. Remember, each step is important, and any mistakes can delay the process or even result in the denial of the liquor license.

Nevada Liquor License FAQs

How Much is a Nevada Liquor License?

A liquor license for importing, wholesaling, and manufacturing alcohol in Nevada can cost between $100 and $565, not including the premium costs needed to secure the bond.

Businesses that plan to serve alcohol directly to consumers require permits and licensing from the local city or county outside of the Nevada Liquor License, which can add additional fees to the total cost. In some cities and counties, retail licensing can cost up to $5,000.

A $15.00 sales tax permit fee for EACH in-state business location is required.

Importer/Wholesaler Licensing Fees:

    • Importer of wine, beer & spirits- $500

    • Importer of beer- $150

    • Wholesaler of wine, beer & spirits- $250

    • Wholesaler of beer- $75

Manufacturer Licensing Fees:

    • Brew Pub- $75

    • Brewer- $75

    • Craft Distillery- $75

    • Estate Distillery – $75

    • Instructional Wine Facility – $75

    • Winemaker – $75

    • Rectifier- $550

How Does a Business Get a Nevada Liquor License?

A Nevada-based business can get a liquor license by following the necessary steps to complete an application, paying the mandatory fees, and meeting all of the requirements to be approved for a liquor license.

When Does a Business Need a Nevada Liquor License?

Any business in Nevada that intends to manufacture, sell, or serve alcoholic beverages is required to obtain a liquor license.

What Type of Liquor License is Appropriate for Your Client’s Business?

Nevada offers two distinct categories of liquor licenses: the Importer/Wholesaler License and the Manufacturer License.

If your client’s business plans to import alcohol or sell wholesale products, the Importer/Wholesaler License is best. This type of license does not allow the sale to consumers, only to retail stores or other wholesales.

If the business will focus solely on the manufacturing of alcohol, then a Manufacturer License is appropriate. This license does not allow the sale or importing of these manufactured products.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Nevada Liquor License?

It can take up to six months to receive a Nevada liquor license after the application has been submitted to the Department of Taxation. During this period, the department does an in-depth background check before approving the license.

What Are Common Reasons that Liquor License Applications Get Denied?

Incomplete applications, unpaid fees, lack of required bonds, failure to meet state or city requirements, and zoning laws that prohibit licensing can all result in the denial of a liquor license application in Nevada.

Does a Nevada Liquor License Need to Be Renewed?

A Nevada liquor license can be renewed each year by paying the required annual fees before July 1st. If fees are not paid before July 15th, the liquor license can be revoked.

Is It Possible to Get a Temporary Nevada Liquor License?

Yes, it is possible to acquire a temporary liquor license in some counties of Nevada. However, these permits can only be obtained by applying to the local city or county for approval.

Can Location Affect a Business’s Ability to Obtain a Liquor License?

Yes, location can affect a business’s ability to obtain a liquor license. Zoning laws regarding establishments that can acquire a liquor license will vary in different counties and cities in Nevada.

What Are the Consequences for Operating Without a Liquor License in Nevada?

Selling or serving alcoholic products without a liquor license in Nevada can have severe consequences. It is considered a criminal offense and may result in fines, legal charges, suspension of business operations, or even imprisonment. Additionally, a business can damage its reputation and customer trust if caught selling or serving alcohol without a liquor license.

For more information about liquor laws and licensing in Nevada, contact us.