Liquor License Renewal in Connecticut

CT liquor license renewalRenewing a liquor license in Connecticut is easier than in some other states; however, there are still regulations to which you must adhere to avoid headaches or worse, license suspension or revocation.

Unlike its neighbor to the north, Connecticut is not a state that uses a quota system for issuance of liquor licenses. Additionally, it offers fewer challenges in its renewal process than Massachusetts (see “Liquor License Renewal in Massachusetts”).

Renewing a Connecticut Liquor License

In Connecticut, liquor licenses expire one year from the date on which they were issued, unlike Massachusetts in which all licenses expire on December 31st each year. There is no grace period to renew your license. The 30-day grace period only applies to fee payment. Therefore, if your license expires on April 30th, you must renew it prior to that date.

According to Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (the department that regulates distribution, sales, and dispensing of alcohol), selling or delivering alcohol without renewing your license subjects you to disciplinary action. (See Questions & Answers Every Liquor Permittee Should Know.) In the example cited, selling or delivering alcohol on June 1 if your license expires on May 31 can get you in trouble. “The 30-day grace period is for the imposition of a late fee.”

That said: You can renew your liquor license online after creating a user ID and password and following the typical security question entries and email verification process. Once logged in, you’ll answer attestation questions not the least of which is “Have you been convicted of a felony since the date of your last renewal?” From that point, the process is a typical online shopping cart experience. (See the Department of Consumer Protection’s step-by-step instructions.)

Other Liquor License Regulations

Although Connecticut is not a quota state and offers a relatively simple renewal process, there are other regulations that come into play.

First, all alcohol must be purchased from a wholesaler, and that includes incidental alcohol use such as in cooking. If you operate a bar and run out of alcohol, you may not purchase from a local package store. Doing so results in a fine or liquor license suspension. Additionally, liquor must always be poured from its original container.

You can transfer a portion of your business to family members but only with permission from the Department of Consumer Protection. However, you may not transfer a liquor license. A new owner must apply for and receive his or her own permit before serving or selling alcohol.

Every state has its own way of doing business in regards to selling and serving alcohol accompanied by any number of regulations concerning acquiring and renewing a liquor license. By comparison to other states, regulations and liquor license acquisition and renewal seem easy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any pitfalls. Ignorance can lead to liquor license suspension or revocation and severely damage or even destroy your business.