This article answers the following FAQs about obtaining a TX liquor license:

  • Who or what workplace needs a liquor license
  • Differences between license & permit
  • The process and how long it takes to obtain
  • Any barriers to receiving one
  • What to do if you are denied
  • How long is a license valid 
  • Terms of liquor license renewal
  • The importance of TABC compliance

For starters, it’s helpful to clarify that in order to be in compliance, your event or establishment must apply for and obtain a TABC liquor license or permit, and those who sell or serve within your establishment will also need to obtain individual TABC certification from a qualified seller/server course, which is a separate process.  

At LaBarba Permit Service, we assist owners and operators with permit consulting services in order for them to obtain the proper Texas liquor licensing and operate within TABC compliance.  Over the past 55 years, we have helped hundreds of businesses navigate the various and often confusing rules and regulations and paperwork to apply to TABC and have helped these owners prevent denial, errors in application, or frustrating delays that arise with the issuance and renewals of liquor permits. 

The remainder of this article will be informative on why your establishment or event really needs a state-issued Texas liquor licensehow to get a liquor license in Texas, and why working with the professionals at LaBarba Permit Service will save you time and money in the long run

Why you need a Texas liquor license

Liquor license, beer license, liquor permits, oh my!  At times these terms may be used interchangeably, but the basic premise is that anytime you are handling, selling, or serving alcohol, your operation and your employees must both be within TABC compliance.  A list of the differences between liquor permits and beer licenses can be found on the TABC website. However, we know how daunting it can be to navigate the process on your own. Don’t get lost!  Keep LaBarba Permit Service as a roadmap on your way to obtaining your liquor license in Texas. 

Just like individual alcohol sellers and servers must show their credibility with TABC certification, each establishment must show compliance and credibility, which TABC licensing provides. 

There are many different kinds of Texas liquor licenses, and it’s not just restaurants and clubs that have to have them! Keep in mind that if you sell or serve alcohol on an airplane, on a train or in a convenience store, for example, you also need to have a Texas liquor license

Additionally, you’ll need a Texas liquor permit to legally hold a fundraiser or any event where alcohol will be served. The fact is, any permanent or temporary business offering alcohol sales or service must carry the proper Texas liquor license, and again, its alcohol-serving employees must be individually TABC-certified, in order to be in compliance with Texas liquor laws.

How to get a Texas liquor license

According to the TABC, it typically takes 45 to 60 days for an establishment to receive a liquor license, and you have to pay applicable license and permit fees. But first, you should sign up for liquor license training. In Texas, a number of online liquor license classes are offered, as well as on-site location classes. Completing your training online eliminates long drives and costly fees, making this the perfect option for folks who are busy but want to learn a new skill. Get your Texas liquor license after taking online training courses, if that option works best with your schedule!

Staying TABC compliant

Occasionally during this 1-2 month waiting period to receive a TX liquor license, or TABC license, applicants can be denied. There can be various reasons for why the TABC denies liquor license applications, a few of which we’ve mentioned in our post about ‘What To Do When Your Liquor License is Denied.’ 

Just like a regular license, your Texas liquor license must be kept up to date in order to remain TABC compliant.  In fact, the phrase “easier said than done” couldn’t be more true in this case. Just refer to these common reasons establishments lose their Texas liquor licenses each year.  

TABC regulations are extremely strict, and your ability to operate your business relies on compliance. The status of your operational liquor license could be questioned and examined at any time, so it’s important that you keep up with TABC guidelines to avoid penalties and fees.  You can read more about the importance of TABC renewal, as well as a checklist of items for the renewal process of your Texas liquor license.

Those darn Texas liquor laws

Many people lament about the confusing Texas liquor laws. Texas also has wet and dry counties, some counties have a combination of rules, and there are laws concerning the local purchase and drinking of alcohol that apply to these counties as well! In addition, there are state laws for transporting open containers, bringing your own alcohol to an event or establishment and consuming alcohol on-premise and off-premise.  Many of these often confusing Texas liquor laws have remained the same since the 1930s, with an underlying purpose to enforce alcohol distribution and sales regulations ever since the Prohibition Era. 

Things are a bit different in Texas, but you don’t have to feel lost!  If you would like to learn more about how Texas liquor laws, and how they relate to your specific business, contact us at LaBarba Permit Service. We’ll help you navigate the liquor laws out here in the wild west.