Nos conseils aux professionnels - Quelles licences faut-il pour vendre de l'alcool ? - Les Grappes

What licences are required to sell alcohol?

In line with the articles for professionals, we offer you in this article some indications on the licences necessary for establishments concerning the sale of alcohol. Thus, we will try to present you the essential passages, and to help you to understand the importance of these licenses.

The licence is compulsory

A food and beverage license will be required if you are opening a licensed establishment. There are, however, several types of licences, depending on the beverages you offer and the service: licences vary depending on whether you serve the beverage during the meal or not.
So when you open your restaurant you need to ask yourself if you are going to sell alcohol; if you are going to sell alcohol outside of meals; and what type(s) of alcohol you plan to sell. Your answers to these questions will guide your choice, and allow you to choose your licence.

Alcohol Groups

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

Group 1 is non-alcoholic beverages.
Group 2 no longer exists.
Group 3 groups non-distilled fermented drinks and natural sweet wines (wine, beer, cider, perry, liqueur wines, wine 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 or not you serve alcohol outside of meals, you will need to apply for a different licence.

If you only serve alcohol with meals, you will need to apply for a "restaurant licence". There are two licences: with a small restaurant licence, you will be able to sell drinks from Groups 1 and 2 (on site) and from Group 2 (to take away). With a Large restaurant license, you will be able to serve drinks from all four groups on site.

If you wish to sell alcohol outside of meals, you will need to apply for an "On-Site Liquor Licence", which comes in two categories. The 2nd category licence will allow you to sell non-distilled fermented drinks, i.e. beer, wine, perry, ... which correspond to groups 1 and 2. The 3rd category license authorizes you to sell drinks from groups 1 and 2, as well as all alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 18° or less, i.e. drinks from group 3.

The Licence Application

Now that you know which licence to apply for, you can proceed!

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

Before applying for your restaurant licence, you must have a business licence.
Then you will have to make a declaration to the town hall with the cerfa n°11542 04. Little tip: get there in advance! It is imperative to have made the request at least two weeks before the opening of the establishment.

You will then have to hand in the receipt for the declaration of licence granted by the town hall to the Clerk's Office of the Commercial Court.

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

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky (for Les Grappes)

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