ABRA's priority is to ensure only qualified candidates can obtain alcoholic beverage licenses. As a result, licensing processes are thorough. It may take several months to move through the entire licensing process depending on the transaction, which includes several steps:
- Application submission and acceptance
- Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) approval
- License issuance
Apply for an alcoholic beverage license by completing and returning an:
In order for the application to be accepted, all required documents must be received. Required documents vary depending on the applicant and the transaction being processed. Provide the following documents:
- Letter of intent to lease or the actual lease
- Government issued ID
- Clean Hands Certificate
- Basic Business License
- Zoning Certificate and Certificate of Occupancy
- Entity documents (LLC, Inc., etc.)
- Board of Director minutes (corporations only)
- Operating Agreement (LLCs)
- Purchase and Sales Agreement (if the license is a transfer with sale or transfer of stock)
A licensing specialist will contact an applicant if further documentation is required. Once all required documents are received, the application would be accepted and can move to the next steps in the process. This may include posting public notice placards on the establishment for a 45-day period if the application is for a:
- New retailer’s license
- Substantial change to a license (Board may require)
All applications are subject to the approval of the Board.
Once final documentation has been submitted and the Board has approved the application, the license may be issued.
Note: Payments can be made in the form of a cashier’s check, certified check, business check, attorney’s check, personal check or money order. A check or money order must be payable to the D.C. Treasurer. Payment may also be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. ABRA does not accept cash.