If you already own a business in Florida and want to begin selling alcohol, or you are planning to open a new business that will serve alcohol, you need a liquor license. These are regulated and issued by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing, which is part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Florida liquor license types include, but are not limited to: 4COP-SRX, 4COP-QUOTA, 2COP, 1COP, 2APS and 1APS. If you have a restaurant, cafe or bar, you should look into which 1COP, 2COP or 4COP liquor license is most appropriate for your establishment.
Types of Consumption on Premises Licenses in Florida
When you wish to serve beer, wine and/or liquor at your business in Florida, to be consumed while your customers remain at the business, look into a 1COP, 2COP or 4COP liquor license:
- 1COP: This license is for beer for sale by the drink for consumption on the premises or in sealed containers for package sales.
- 2COP: This license allows you to sell beer and wine by the drink for consumption on the premises or in sealed containers for package sales. This is typically the appropriate license for a small restaurant, café or shop.
- 4COP-QUOTA: This license is for beer, wine and liquor sales by the drink for consumption on the premises and package sales in sealed containers. This license is typically used for bars and clubs that do not meet the requirement for a 4COP-SRX/SFS license.
- 4COP-SRX/SFS: This license lets you sell beer, wine and liquor in connection with a restaurant, and for consumption on premises only (no package sales are allowed). You may have liquor beverages only in quarts, fifths and miniatures. Sales of alcohol beverages are prohibited after hours or after food service has ended. You must meet certain square footage and seat requirements determined by your county.
The quota license indicates that Florida has a limit for how many liquor licenses are issued based on the ratio of residents in each county, which is one for every 7,500 residents. Florida uses a lottery system to determine who may receive a quota license.
An SRX license is a “Restaurant only license,” also called a 4COP-SFS, for “Special Food Service” license. These liquor licenses come with additional requirements for the size of the restaurant, in terms of square footage and seats. You must also meet the requirement of at least 51 percent of your revenues coming from food and non-alcoholic beverage sales.
What is the Cost of a Liquor License in Florida?
The fee for a liquor license in Florida depends on the size of your county, the type of license, and whether you are purchasing a full year or a half-year license. The DBPR charges different fees for counties with populations less than 25,000, between 25,000 and 50,000, between 50,000 and 75,000, between 75,000 and 100,000 and over 100,000. For example, as of Oct. 1, 2017, a 4COP license for a full year in a county with a population of more than 100,000 costs $1,820. However, for a county of fewer than 25,000, the cost is $624.
4COP liquor licenses enable restaurants, bars and clubs to sell beer, wine and spirits for consumption on the business’s premises.
- Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: Licenses and Permits for Alcoholic Beverages
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Licenses
- Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: FAQs
- G3 Brokers: The Different Types of Liquor Licenses in Florida and Why it Matters
- Hackleman, Olive & Judd, P.A.: Florida Liquor License Types Explained
Victoria E. Langley is a legal content writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School of Chicago. She has worked as a clerk for a boutique law firm handling breach of contract litigation, a corporate document reviewer, and a legal counselor for a transactional law clinic. She now focuses on translating legalese into everyday language for firms around the country. Her work has appeared on the U.S. News Law Directory and many law firm's sites. Learn more from her website, langleylegalwriter.com