How to Get a Liquor License in NYS

If you own or are thinking about buying a bar, hotel or restaurant in New York State, you probably have questions about how to get a liquor license. Here, we’ll explain the basics of getting a NYS liquor license, and you can ask a lawyer any additional questions you may have. 


What are the minimum eligibility requirements to hold a NYS liquor license?

To hold a NYS liquor license, you must either be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident alien status. You also must be 21 years of age or older, and you cannot be a convicted felon or a police officer with arresting powers.

Are there any restrictions regarding where my venue can be located?

If you have a liquor store, wine store or on-premises license, your venue can’t be within 200 feet of a school or a place of worship. Learn about the 500 foot rule, too.

Can I get a temporary permit while I wait for my NYS liquor license application to go through?

Yes. However, if your business is in a city with a population of over one million, you have to operate for 30 days before filing for a permit.

During what hours can I operate my business?

If you operate bars in Poughkeepsie or another type of establishment, check with your county, which regulates business hours. Note that New York City hours are regulated by the state.

Can we deliver alcohol along with food if someone places an order?

Yes, you can deliver beer if you have an on-premises license and if the order was placed in your establishment (orders placed over the phone or by fax are fine, as long as you still received them in your venue).

How old do my servers and bartenders have to be to serve alcohol?

If the employee’s duties are to handle alcoholic beverages, they have to be 18 years old.

Do I have to pay the full fee when I submit my liquor license application or can I be put on an installment plan?

The entire fee is required upfront. Installment plans are no longer in effect as of August of 2002. If you’re wondering, “How much is a liquor license?” get in touch with us.


Find and download liquor license forms here or call (518) 474-3114. Mail your application to: New York State Liquor Authority, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 3817, New York, NY, 10008-3817. For more information, visit the New York State Liquor Authority.