Liquor License Renewal in PA

liquor license renwal in PaPennsylvania operates under a liquor license quota systems and is also a control state regarding the retail sale of alcohol. It’s no surprise, then, that there are a number of regulations regarding liquor license renewal in Pennsylvania.

Unlike some other states, liquor licenses in PA only need to be renewed biennially (i.e. every other year), and the license expires on the same date every year. The expiration date falls on the last day of the month depending on your county and the district to which you are assigned. There are 11 total districts, and there are no expiration dates set for December 31.

Although you only need to renew your license every other year, in the year opposite your liquor license renewal, you must validate the license with the state and pay the associated fees.

Pennsylvania Liquor License Renewal Paperwork

According to A Handbook About Responsible Sales of Alcohol for Pennsylvania Licensees, liquor license renewal forms are distributed by the Wine & Spirits Store (the state-controlled retail alcohol [excluding beer] stores) designated on the licensee’s Wholesale Purchase Permit Card. These forms are available up to four months prior to renewal date, and licensees are encouraged to file early.

There is an on-line renewal processing system in place for retail and wholesale licenses, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is working to expand the site to include more “beverage alcoholic license types and application processes.”

For the required validation in years opposite your actual renewal date, you must pick up the required paperwork at your assigned Wine and Spirits Store in the same manner you get your renewal paperwork.

The deadline for filing your renewal application and all accompanying paperwork is 60 days prior to the expiration of your license. You’ll pay a $100.00 late fee if you fail to file before the deadline.

Required Tax Clearances

Pennsylvania also requires those filing to either renew or validate their liquor license to have appropriate tax clearance, demonstrating that they are not in arrears with either the Department of Labor and Industry nor the Department of Revenue. The PLCB Licensing FAQs states: “The Departments preaudit renewal and validation applications with the resulting ‘clear’ or ‘not clear’ status shown on the application. Regardless of the type of application, when you are notified you do not have tax clearance, you must contact the respective department and obtain clearance.”

Having your tax clearance in place prior to renewal or validation speeds the process.

Business operation records regarding the purchase and sale of alcohol must be kept for at least two years and must be available for inspection by authorized employees of the state if requested.

Obtaining and subsequently renewing a liquor license in PA requires a great deal of attention to detail and knowledge of the industry and liquor license quota landscape. It pays to deal with a professional who understands all of these facets, so you can concentrate on running your establishment.