Opening up a new bar can be an expensive process. There are also a lot of things that you are going to have to do before you can even start the entire process. One of those things is to make sure that you get a liquor license. Without that, there isn't even a reason to start trying to build your bar. While the specifics do vary from state to state, there are some generalities that all states have in common.
Look at Existing Licenses
Some cities and counties limit how many liquor licenses are available within their boundaries. This is usually figured out by population. That turns liquor licenses into a hot commodity. There may be too few available for the number of people who want them. If you are worried that you can't get one of the few open licenses, you may be able to purchase an existing license. If a restaurant or bar is closing or has closed, the owner may still possess the license and be willing to sell it to you. You may also find a license broker who works with people who are looking to buy or sell a license. Be prepared to pay more than the regular licensing fee if you go this route.
Work with the Right State Agency
The agency that issues liquor licenses may not have the word "alcohol" in their title. That means that you may have to do some research to find where you need to go. The agency you are looking for may just be a division of the overall agency. For example, in Georgia, you have to apply through the Department of Revenue, which has a division that handles liquor licensing. But in Maine, you need to visit the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. So you will need to make sure that you go to the right place. Otherwise, you are wasting time and money. If you are in doubt as to where to go to apply, there are lawyers who work with businesses who are trying to get liquor licenses, and they will be able to not only point you in the right direction but also be able to help you fill out all the paperwork correctly.
Starting any new business can be difficult. Many new bars and restaurants close before they reach their first year. If you want to make sure your new bar gets a chance, a liquor license is key. Talk to a company such as Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants to learn more.