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What licences are required to sell alcohol?

In line with the articles for professionals, in this article we offer you some information about the licenses required for establishments to sell alcohol. In this way, we will try to present you the essential passages, and help you understand the importance of these licenses.

The license is mandatory

You will need arestaurant license if you open a drinking establishment. However, there are several types of licenses, depending on the beverages you offer, and on the service: indeed, the licenses vary depending on whether you serve the beverage during the meal or not.
When you open your restaurant, you must therefore ask yourself if you are going to sell alcohol; if you are going to sell it outside of meals; and what type(s) of alcohol you intend to sell. Your answers to these questions will guide your choice, and allow you to select your license.

Alcohol Groups

First of all, you should know that the different types of alcohol are divided into five groups. They are classified by alcohol content.

Group 1 is for non-alcoholic drinks.
Group 2 no longer exists.
Group 3 includes non-distilled fermented beverages and natural sweet wines (wine, beer, cider, perry, liqueur wines, wine-based aperitifs and strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant or cherry liqueurs, not exceeding 18 degrees of pure alcohol).

Groups 4 and 5 include rum and distilled alcohol.

Alcohol and meals

Depending on whether you serve alcohol outside of meals or not, you will need a different license.

If you only serve alcohol during meals, you will need to apply for a "restaurant license". There are two types of licenses: with a Small Restaurant License, you can sell Group 1 and 2 drinks (on the premises) and Group 2 drinks (to take away). With a Large Restaurant License, you will be able to serve all four groups of drinks on the premises.

If you wish to sell alcohol outside of meals, you will have to turn to a "License for the sale of beverages for consumption on the premises", which comes in two categories. The 2nd category license will allow you to sell non-distilled fermented beverages, i.e. beer, wine, perry, ... which correspond to groups 1 and 2. The 3rd category license allows you to sell drinks from the 1st and 2nd groups, as well as all alcohols with an alcohol content equal to or lower than 18°, i.e. drinks from group 3.

The license application

Now that you know which license to apply for, you can proceed with the steps!

Remember that a liquor license is required to sell alcohol and all other alcoholic beverages in your establishment.

Before applying for your restaurant license, you must have a business license.
Then, you will have to make a declaration to the city hall with the cerfa n°11542 04. A little tip: get there in advance! You must have made the request at least two weeks before the opening of the establishment.

You will then have to submit the receipt for the declaration of license granted by the city hall to the Clerk of the Commercial Court.

Now that you know everything, all you have to do is get started. The hardest part will be choosing thetype of drinks you will sell in your establishment. Good luck!

Do you need support?

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Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky (for Les Grappes)

Restaurants, Bars, Hotels: simply supply yourself with wine!

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