If you’re one of many California residents who hope to open a new bar in your community in the new year to come, you no doubt have a lot of decisions to make, paperwork to sign and practical steps to take to get the ball rolling. Opening a bar carries serious responsibilities. For instance, it’s up to you to know what you need to know regarding Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) regulations.
If your establishment will sell beer, wine or liquor and will also serve food, you must be in compliance with all health codes and liquor license regulations. ABC laws involve who may or may not buy, consume, sell or serve alcohol in your restaurant/bar.
Make sure you understand California alcohol license regulations
Every state has its own ABC regulations. While you may have owned a restaurant/bar in another state, it would be a big mistake to assume that you understand what’s expected of you in this state. Before serving alcohol to your patrons, you will want to carefully review California laws and make sure that you are in compliance.
Some states have unique laws regarding ABC issues. For instance, in Alaska, bar owners may not sell alcohol to patrons on an election day, unless the polls have closed. In North Carolina, you would not be able to create signature cocktails as a restaurant/bar owner. Because every state has its own laws, and some are quite unique, it is imperative that you do your research before selling alcohol to patrons in your establishment.
Don’t forget about resale permits
When selling already branded alcoholic beverages to your customers, you must first obtain a resale permit. This is a document that enables you to sell branded beverages to your patrons for profit. Such a permit covers beer, liquor and wine.
Getting into legal trouble regarding ABC regulations
As long as you serve alcohol to patrons who are legally old enough to have it, no one can sue you in California, as a restaurant/bar owner, if they leave your establishment, are involved in a crash and cause injuries to another person. If, however, it is determined that you served alcohol to a minor, you may be liable for damages in such cases.
If you are unsure whether you might be liable for injury or damages in an alcohol-related incident, it is always best to seek clarification of state laws, especially if you have been issued a citation or someone has filed a legal claim against you. It is good to know where to seek support to defend your rights and to help protect your liquor license, if it is called into question.