There are many reasons why a business owner might want to sell alcohol. Because of the high profit margins, selling alcohol can help improve sales and grow your business. Plus, alcohol has become more popular in recent years, and adding some drinks to your menu can open an opportunity to get more business.
That said, there are some things your business needs before you can start selling alcohol. Luckily, Insurance Canopy is here to help. Here are three things you need to do in order to start serving alcohol.
1. LIQUOR LICENSE
If you are going to sell alcohol, then the first thing you need is a liquor license. Selling alcohol without a license can result in fines, penalties, and even the closure of your business. Because liquor laws are state-regulated, and every state has its own department for alcoholic beverage control (ABC), the requirements to receive your license can vary. Depending on your business, you will most likely choose from one of three kinds of licenses:
- Beer and Wine License – allows the sale of alcoholic beverages but does not include hard liquor. This license is generally designed for businesses that want to include simple alcoholic beverages on a menu, but do not want to serve drinks with hard liquor, like cocktails.
- Restaurant License – allows the sale of alcoholic beverages, including hard liquor, but usually puts a restriction of the percentage of alcohol sales your business can have. This license is generally designed for businesses that want to serve a variety of alcoholic beverages but whose primary business function is serving food.
- Tavern License – allows the sale of alcoholic beverages, including hard liquor. This license is generally designed for businesses that serve a variety of alcoholic beverages as their primary business function, like a bar or tavern.
Receiving a liquor license can take 30 days or more depending on your state and can widely vary in price, so make sure to visit your local state’s ABC department website and get started on the forms as soon as possible.
2. LIQUOR LIABILITY INSURANCE
As a business that will be selling alcohol, you will have a unique set of liability risks, from trip and fall accidents to property damage claims. Depending on your state’s laws, your business can be found liable to pay for injuries, accidents, and other damages caused by individuals you served alcohol to. These claims can be expensive—often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars—and have the potential to completely shut down your business operation.
Liquor liability insurance is designed to protect alcohol-serving businesses from the cost of claims. It can mitigate and sometimes eliminate the out-of-pocket cost of claims. A good liquor liability policy includes a variety of coverage options, including:
- General liability – protects a business from third-party bodily injury and property damage claims, as well as claims concerning personal advertising injury and damages to rented premises
- Liquor Liability – protects a business from third-party claims that arise from accidents caused by individuals you served alcohol to
- Tools & Equipment – protects a business from the cost of repairing or replacing business equipment that was damaged or stolen.
- Additional Insureds – extends your liability coverage to other businesses, like property owners or event organizers, if both your businesses are involved in an accident.
- Additional Policy Options – adds more coverage to a business according to its needs, like increased limits, professional liability, cyber liability and more
Insurance Canopy’s liquor liability policy includes every one of these coverage options for as low as $550 a year. If you’d like to learn more about how Insurance Canopy can help you protect your business, check out our policy details today.
3. QUALIFIED STAFF
If you plan on hiring employees to help you prepare and serve your products, it’s important to make sure they are trained and qualified to serve alcohol. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences for your business.
If you plan on serving hard liquor and cocktails, your business may benefit from hiring a trained, professional bartender who has the education and experience to serve a variety of drinks quickly and efficiently. Professional bartenders are also often familiar with local liquor laws and can be a great asset in making sure your business is not involved in any liquor-related accidents.
PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS WITH INSURANCE CANOPY
Selling alcoholic beverages is a great way to grow your business and increase your profit, but you need to make sure your eggs are in a row before you start. Getting a liquor license, liquor liability insurance, and qualified staff will help you run your alcohol-serving business and protect you from unfortunate accidents.
If you haven’t already, you should check out Insurance Canopy’s liquor liability policy. It’s comprehensive, affordable, and takes less than ten minutes to get the coverage you need. With Insurance Canopy, you will be able to serve drinks with peace of mind knowing you have the coverage you need.