Liquor Control Licenses

Business Attorneys Advising Entities in Traverse City and Grand Rapids

There are many Michigan businesses that want to sell alcoholic beverages as part of their operations, including restaurants, taverns, wine rooms, breweries, and other establishments. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission ("MLCC") controls licensing and the enforcement of liquor laws within the state. If you are thinking about applying for or transferring a liquor control license for your business, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City liquor license lawyers at the Neumann Law Group may be able to help you. Your situation may be less straightforward than it seems at first glance, and the advice of a business attorney may be useful in planning your strategy.

Liquor Control Licenses

The Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 created a commission to control the traffic of alcoholic beverages within Michigan. Among other things, it provides for the licensing and taxation of different types of liquor sales. It also prescribes liability and penalties for retail licensees under certain circumstances, requires security for that liability, and provides for the enforcement of its provisions.

In most cases, businesses are not permitted to sell, deliver, or import alcoholic beverages unless they are licensed by the commission. The nature of your business will determine the type of license to sell liquor that you will need. For example, a Class C license is necessary if you are running a business that sells beer, wine, mixed spirit drinks, or spirits for consumption at a place of business. A Class G-2 license is for places that sell beer and wine to be consumed at golf courses that have at least 18 holes and measure at least 5,000 yards, and that permit member access through paid memberships that are charged annually. In Michigan, the location of the operation may make a difference as to whether you are entitled to get a license. For example, a new application to sell alcoholic beverages at retail must be denied if the desired location is within 500 feet of a school or church. Our liquor license attorneys can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids businesses determine which type of license to pursue and how to secure approval.

Entities that obtain licenses may not allow alcoholic drinks to be consumed on the premises if they were not purchased from a wholesaler or the state of Michigan. They may not accept returns from customers, although they may accept the return of a spoiled, contaminated, or damaged container. When alcohol is served at a bar or restaurant, it needs to be purchased from that location, and the business at that location must have a liquor license.

What if you are not a bar or restaurant but are simply holding a fundraiser or a similar event at which alcohol will be consumed? Nonprofits are permitted to buy a Special License, which is a temporary 24-hour license that allows the licensee to sell any kind of beer, wine, spirits, or mixed drinks to be consumed on the premises. Nonprofits may get up to 12 of these licenses each year.

The commission is entitled to make investigations that it considers proper in enforcing the liquor laws and rules in connection with the manufacture, distribution, or sale of alcoholic liquor. If you have a license, you are required to make the premises available for this investigation, including any inspection or search by a commission investigator or a police officer enforcing its rules. Evidence may be taken and used in an administrative or judicial proceeding, making it important to discuss any concerns with an experienced attorney so that you are in compliance.

Discuss Your Situation with a Liquor License Lawyer in Grand Rapids or Traverse City

If you are trying to open a business that sells alcohol, it is important to consult an experienced lawyer about liquor control licenses. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids liquor license attorneys represent clients in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up an appointment with a liquor or food license attorney.

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