Why would a bar lose its license?
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Why would a bar lose its license?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Alcoholic Beverage Law |

It’s very important to have all the right licensing when starting a bar, a brewery or something of this nature. Like other drinking establishments, the proper regulations must be followed. The license has to be obtained before operation begins on the premises.

However, it’s also important to note that that license can be lost. This can significantly hinder the establishment, as further operation will not be possible. What are some of the reasons that a bar in Florida could lose its license?

Failing to operate for enough hours

In order to maintain your license, your establishment must maintain “regular and reasonable business hours” – Florida statute defines this as at least 8 hours a day, for at least 210 days in a given 12 month period. The state begins enforcing this rule 6 months after you receive your license. You must also operate your business with the intent to drive sales and profit from your alcoholic beverage sales.

There are exceptions to this rule – such as if the business needs to close for an extended period of time due to physical damage, construction or remodeling. When your business is inactive, you may request that the state hold onto your license, which will render it inactive during that period of time. However, the state’s goal remains the same: to ensure you are running an authentic business, open to the public, with the intent to increase revenue through the sale of alcohol on your premises.

Engaging in unlawful practices

Additionally, it’s important to ensure that everything that happens on the premises is legal, even if it doesn’t necessarily relate to alcohol directly. For example, if illegal gambling is happening in the bar, the liquor license could be revoked. This is true even if everyone who was served alcohol was legally allowed to be served and if all time constraints were followed.

Serving to minors

Of course, one of the most common reasons that an establishment will lose its liquor license is if minors are served. This is why it is so important to have well-trained bartenders and staff members. Ages must be confirmed before alcohol can be served. Bars are obligated to check a person’s age first and cannot make assumptions.

What options do you have?

Unfortunately, situations can arise where an establishment may lose its license even if you – as the owner – have done all that you can to prevent it. This could be due to a mistake made by a bartender, for instance, who doesn’t realize that they are serving alcohol too late in the evening or to someone who is underage. If you find yourself in this position, considering the financial harm that can come from the loss of this license, it’s incredibly important to know about all of the legal options you have.