Liquor License Renewal in NJ

Liquor license renwal in NJNew Jersey, like its neighbor across the Delaware River, is a quota state; however, unlike Pennsylvania, liquor license renewals in NJ occur annually. Every spring, liquor licensees must go through the renewal process as all liquor licenses in NJ are effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

According to NJ’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Handbook, the renewal applications are provided by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to municipal clerks or ABC boards. The liquor license holder must complete the application (along with necessary paperwork regarding any changes or corrections) and submit it along with fees to be paid to the respective municipality and ABC. All of this must be done in time for the municipality to pass a resolution approving the license renewal prior to the July 1 expiration date ( “New Jersey liquor license renewal”).

The typical liquor license renewal application is a single page, but on occasion, the ABC will required the licensee to complete the complete Application for Retail Alcoholic Beverage License.

Delays Means Potential Loss of Sales

If the liquor license renewal process is delayed and a license renewal is not approved by July 1, it can quickly turn into a loss of sales for the restaurateur or license holder. If there is no municipal resolution passed by July 1, alcoholic beverage activity must cease “unless the licensee has filed the renewal application, paid the applicable fees and applies to and has issued by the Division of A.B.C. an ‘Ad Interim’ Permit.”

In addition to timely filing, liquor license renewal in NJ also required proof of being up to date with your taxes. Like Pennsylvania’s liquor license renewal process, a licensee may not be in arrears on tax payments, and the municipality must receive a Clearance Certificate for the renewal from the Division of Taxation.

Although liquor license renewal in NJ is dependent on municipal approval via the passage of a resolution, it is still your obligation to ensure that all documentation and fees are prepared and paid in enough time to allow the municipal governing body to meet and approve your renewal.

Your failure to be timely leads to a lapsed license – one on which the licensing authority can no longer act even if they have no objection to renewing your liquor license. When that occurs, you must shut down your business.

For liquor licensees in NJ, once income tax filing is done, it’s time to turn around and tackle the liquor license renewal process. Spring means a lot of paperwork in the Garden State, but you don’t have to go it alone. Use an accountant or tax preparer to help with your April 15th deadline and use a firm like Atlantic License Brokers to help with your liquor license renewal deadline.