The process for applying for a new Texas liquor license or permit can be time-consuming and confusing, especially when factoring in the forms, fees, and additional requirements your business must keep up with.
Almost every “original” application is different in some way; however, the basic Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission (TABC) forms generally remain the same for a restaurant or bar liquor license. (In TABC lingo, an original application is the term used to describe an application for a new permit or license.)
Below, we compiled a list of the TABC permit application forms most restaurants and bars will need and provided a quick overview of each one:
1. Prequalification Packet
The Prequalification Packet (TABC Form L-ON) is the first form that should be completed. This form is initially used when acquiring a 60-day sign (if needed). Once signed and notarized by the applicant, the L-ON form must be certified by the local City Secretary, County Clerk, and the Texas Comptroller.
To complete this form, you will need to know basic information regarding the permit(s) or license(s) being applied for, the permit-holding entity and its ownership, and the location.
Don’t forget to have the appropriate person sign (as indicated on page two) in the presence of a notary. Stay tuned to our blog for more details on how to complete the Prequalification Packet.
2. Location Packet
All retailers filing an original application must complete the Location Packet (TABC Form L-L). As you probably can guess, this form asks for more detailed information about the bar or restaurant location. It also requests certain sales and financial data, including revenue projections for the first year and the identity of investors.
If the applicant and the owner of the building are different entities or people, you will also have to complete the Owner of Property form (TABC Form L-OP) and attach it to the Location Packet.
3. Business Packet
The Business Packet is the third item that makes up a complete original application for a restaurant or bar applying for a Texas liquor license. Rather than one form, it is actually a collection of forms that solicits ownership information, including detailed personal information about the primary investors.
The Basic Form
The first form in the series is the basic Business Packet (TABC Form L-B). This form is important and always required for a complete original application. It requires the applicant to disclose information about anyone who is listed in the forms described below, including criminal histories and ownership of other interests in the alcoholic beverage industry.
The TABC is required by law to make sure they do not issue a retail permit to someone, or an entity owned by someone, who (1) has certain criminal convictions or (2) owns interests in another tier of the alcoholic beverage industry — either the manufacturing or wholesale tier.
Following the L-B, you will see forms for various entity types, including Corporation (TABC Form L-C), Limited Liability Company (TABC Form L-LLC), and Partnership (TABC Form L-P). Of this group, the form(s) you will need to complete depend on the unique ownership structure of the applicant.
If the applicant is an individual, these forms are not required. If the applicant is an entity, the form corresponding to the applicant’s entity type should be completed. If other entities hold an ownership interest in the applicant, a form must be completed for those entities as well. For example, if the applicant is a limited partnership and the general partner of the applicant is an LLC, a complete application would at least include the Partnership form and the LLC form. The TABC requires that you provide detailed ownership information in this fashion through at least three levels of the applicant’s ownership structure.
Personal History Sheets
Finally, the Business Packet includes the Personal History Sheet (TABC Form L-PHS). This form is completed by the applicant if the applicant is an individual. If the applicant is an entity, certain individuals holding direct or indirect ownership in that entity must each complete Personal History Sheets. All questions in the Personal History Sheet should be answered, and any false statement could disqualify the applicant and subject him or her to prosecution.
As you can imagine, from identifying what forms need to be included to figuring out who must complete a Personal History Sheet, completing the Business Packet is a challenge. If your ownership structure is complicated at all, we strongly suggest that you consult with a Texas liquor license service regarding how to complete the Business Packet. Mistakes can turn into delays that push out your projected TABC permit issuance date.
Also, don’t forget that any future changes to the reported ownership structure must be timely disclosed to the TABC. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the termination of a permit or license.
For additional information on the forms required for a Texas liquor license or permit, visit the TABC website at https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/forms/licensing.asp.
DOWNLOAD OUR LIQUOR LICENSE REFERENCE GUIDE
Not sure what type of license or permit your establishment needs? Download our Permit Summary for a quick reference guide of all the licenses available in Texas to retail establishments.
Disclaimer: Nothing in our articles or on our website is legal advice and should not be taken as such. Please address all legal questions to your counsel. While our team is not a law firm, we can refer you as needed.