Thursday, 10 October 2013

Alcohol - Licenses / Permits and Costs

If you want to serve alcohol in your restaurant, you will need to shell out big bucks for the liquor license. Essentially, in Uttar Pradesh (similar in a number of other states), the government has stopped issuing new liquor licenses - so you are at the mercy of the folks who have a license with them. The common practice used is to sell or lease the liquor license to an interested restaurant owner.

1) If you want to serve bottled beer and hard liqour, you will need to get a Liquor license (called CL-9). This will cost you about 50-60 lakhs in Banglore if you want to purchase it (saw an ad 2 weeks ago for 70 lakhs - . If you want to lease it, you will still have to shell out about 40-50 lakhs as a deposit and then pay the guy a monthly lease amount (could vary between 50K and 2 lakhs, depending on the demand and supply situation).

2) If you want to serve only draught beer, there is a separate draught beer license you can get - this will cost you about 20 lakhs to purchase, or to lease a deposit of about 10 lakhs and a monthly lease amount of 20-40K.

3) To encourage wine consumption, the government now issues wine licenses directly for a small amount of 5K. You may have to pay an additional 10K towards miscellaneous charges, but for under 20K, you can get a license to serve wine at your restaurant.

This entire business of liquor is quite a messy area and unless you have the money (big bucks) this may be a difficult one to handle. The trouble is, even if you buy the license, you never know when the government will decide to issue new licenses - then the value of the license you hold will become much less/worthless.

Note: I am not an expert in alcohol licenses and will not be able to help anyone procure these licenses. Most hospitality consultants offer license procurement as a service - Kindly use Justdial to find out hospitality consultants in your area. The license norms tend to be very location specific (state, district which your place comes under) and you will be better off working with a local consultant or asking an existing bar / liqour store owner for help.

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