Utah Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control
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DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL

Licenses & Permits

General Licensing Information

Any public business where alcohol is consumed on its premises must be licensed by the state.

A person must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, consume, or hold any kind of alcohol license in Utah. Applicants must also qualify to hold a DABC license and a criminal background check will be conducted.

Utah separates alcoholic beverages into two categories: 'beer' & 'liquor'.

Beer: The term 'beer' and 'light beer' by statute means a traditionally brewed beer that contains 3.2% or less of alcohol by weight (4.0% by volume) and is sold by beer distributors throughout the state to retail licensees and permit holders. Beer consumed on the premises of a retail business (such as restaurants or bars) must have both local and state licensing. Effective July 1, 2018, off-premise retails (i.e. grocery stores and convenient stores) are now required to obtain an off-premise state license.

Liquor: Liquor includes distilled spirits, wine, flavored malt beverages, and "strong" or "heavy" beer containing more than 3.2% alcohol by weight. All packaged liquor is sold in state-owned liquor stores or state authorized package agencies at prices set by the state. For businesses which serve any alcohol to the public for on premises consumption must have both the appropriate local and state licensing.

On Premises Retail Licenses: Retail Licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages to be consumed on premises, are available for all restaurant types, banquet/catering facilities, reception centers, qualified resorts, airport lounges, bars, and beer recreational retailers such as (but not limited to) ski resorts, golf courses and bowling centers. All on premises retail licensed businesses must meet PROXIMITY RESTRICTIONS.

All Retail Licenses renew annually. Beer only licenses must be renewed by January 31st and licenses run from March1st to the last day in February. Bar licenses must be renewed by the last day of May and licenses run from July 1 until June 30th . Restaurants, Banquet, Reception Centers, Resorts and Hotel licenses must be renewed by September 30th and run from November 1st October 31st.

Retail Seasonal Licenses may be obtained as well. A summer seasonal license runs from April 1, until October 31. Winter seasonal license runs from November 1 to March 31. However, fees will be the same as a full year license.

Manufacturing Licenses: Other license types are issued for manufacturers (winery, distillery, brewery, and local industry representatives), and distribution (liquor warehouses, and beer wholesalers). A 'Certificate of Approval' is required for out-of-state brewers, importers, or suppliers of heavy beer, and flavored malt beverages.

Special Use Permits are issued for special use (religious wine, industrial or manufacturing, scientific or educational, and public service entities such as airlines, trains, etc.).

Applying for a License: Licenses and special use permits are issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, a part-time governing board that meets only once a month. Because of this, you must submit your application(s) to the Licensing & Compliance Division by the 10th of the month to allow sufficient time for processing for that month. Once your application and supporting documents are complete, you will be notified of the meeting date and time that your application will be considered by the Commission.  Pro-rating the application fees is not available.  For instance, Restaurant licenses renew in September.   If you pay all the application and licensing fees and obtain a restaurant license in September, you will still have to immediately renew the license and pay full renewal fees by the end of September.

FACTORS THE COMMISSION CONSIDERS

Temporary event permits: 'Single Event' and 'Temporary Beer' event permits are issued by the DABC Director contingent on review of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. To ensure adequate processing and approval for these types of permits, complete applications should be submitted 30 days prior to the event. Applications submitted outside of these guidelines risk non-issuance of a permit. Additionally, due to statutory restrictions, temporary event applications received less than 7 business days prior to the event will not be considered.

All DABC applications and specific information for each license type are listed in the left hand column of this web page.

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