6.7.2021

How to Get a Liquor License in Louisiana

Written by Kit Jenkin

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How to Get a Liquor License in Louisiana

There are many reasons you may want to get a liquor license in Louisiana—and if you plan on selling or serving alcohol to your customers, it’s a requirement.  We walk you through the process of how to obtain your liquor license in Louisiana, including how much it will cost.

Get Your Business License

Before you can get a liquor license, you first need to get your business license.  In Louisiana, this will entail:

You’ll also need to pay the appropriate application fees for the business license.  Once each of these steps has been taken care of, you can begin the process of obtaining your liquor license.

The first thing you’ll need to do is apply for a Notice of Intent (NOI) poster.

Submit NOI Poster Application

Prior to applying for a liquor license, depending on the type of business you plan to open, you may need to apply for a Notice of Intent (NOI) poster, which will cost $50.

Once you receive the poster, which indicates your intention to serve alcohol at your business, you’ll need to display it outside the premises where it’s easily visible to the public for at least 15 days.

This alerts the community to your plans, and allows for objections or complaints to be filed before a liquor license is issued.

However, be aware that you won’t be allowed to apply for the NOI poster if your business is still under construction.

Once you’ve applied for the NOI poster, you can apply for your liquor license.

Apply for a Louisiana Liquor License

First, you’ll need to fill out the appropriate application for a Louisiana liquor license.  This will be determined by the type of business you plan to open, whether that’s a bar, a restaurant that also serves alcohol, a liquor store, etc.

You can do this online through the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

You may be required to submit fingerprints with your application if you’ve never submitted fingerprints before, or if it’s been more than five years since you were last fingerprinted.

Depending on the schedule you’re required to complete, you may also need to submit a color copy of your driver’s license or other photo ID, and proof of publication in a local newspaper of your intention to apply for a liquor license.

You may also be asked about some or all of the following on the application:

  • Your criminal history
  • A spouse’s criminal history
  • Whether you’re also applying for a video poker license
  • Whether you own or have an interest in any other business that already has a liquor license in the state
  • Your citizenship status
  • How long you’ve resided in Louisiana

There are also additional application questions which are specific to the type of business you plan to open and/or the type of alcohol you intend to sell or serve.

Once you submit your completed application (which can be done online), it could take up to 35 days to receive your liquor license.

How much will your specific license cost?  Anywhere from $50-$5,000 depending on your business type.

Cost of a Louisiana Liquor License

The cost of a Louisiana liquor license varies depending on the type of business and/or the type of alcohol you intend to sell.  The table below displays the most common business/alcohol combinations.

Business Type

Beer-only License

Beer & Wine License

Beer & Liquor License

Restaurant

$145

$175

$345

Bar

$120

$150

$220 (village/town)

$320 (city)

Class B Liquor Store

$120

$150

$170 (village/town)

$220 (city)

Caterer’s Permit

$50

NA

$50

For alcohol manufacturers, the permit fees skyrocket.

Beer manufacturers will be required to pay a $1,000 permit fee, while wine producers will be required to pay a $50 permit fee plus a $5,000 bond prior to beginning any wine production.

Malt beverage wholesale dealers are also required to pay a hefty $2,500 permit fee.

In addition, you may also be required to obtain a delivery permit for $250, or $1,500 if you need a third-party delivery permit.

Once all license/permit fees have been paid and your license has been received, you’ll need to ensure that any employees who serve alcohol have received their “bar card”.

Obtain Bar Card for Appropriate Employees

In Louisiana, anyone who serves alcoholic beverages to a customer must complete the Louisiana Responsible Vendor training course within 45 days of being hired.  If your employees fail to complete this course within the required timeframe, they will not be allowed to serve alcohol in your establishment.

The course may be taken online or in person.  The certification, also known as a “bar card,” is issued by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.  A bar card is valid for four years before it must be renewed, and must be on the employee at all times. 

You’re almost ready to sell and/or serve alcohol in the state of Louisiana, but there’s one more crucial step—making sure you’ve obtained any required local licenses/permits.

Obtain Local Licenses/Permits

All businesses that intend to work with alcohol in Louisiana need a state liquor license.  However, business owners often get themselves in trouble by not realizing that many cities and parishes require an additional license or permit to sell or serve alcoholic beverages.

Baton Rouge, for example, has its own Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) which regulates businesses selling alcoholic beverages within the city and the parish of East Baton Rouge.  A liquor license for Baton Rouge will cost $50 and is required for the following employee types:

  • Servers
  • Bartenders
  • Doormen
  • Wait staff
  • Dancers/Models

You’ll need to ensure that you’ve obtained all required permits for each city and parish in which your business will operate, even if you’ve already gotten your state liquor license.

Once you’ve obtained all required licenses at the state and local levels, don’t forget one last very important piece of your business—a trustworthy point of sale system.

A POS System You Can Trust

A point of sale system is probably the last thing on your mind when going through the process of obtaining a liquor license—but it shouldn’t be!  Your payment system will have a huge impact on how customers view your business. 

Was the payment process easy, glitch-free, and secure?  Or did customers have to try several times to get the hardware or software to acknowledge their payment method?

You don’t want a poor payment system to ruin an otherwise great customer experience, and that’s where Epos Now can help.  Whether your customers want to be able to pay with their phones using Apple Pay and Google Pay, or whether you’re looking for mobile point of sale options, Epos Now has you covered.

Of course, Epos Now works with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express to name just a few, and was recently ranked as one of the best POS providers in the country by US News and World Report.

Now that you’ve obtained your liquor license and have a great POS system to back you up, you’re finally ready to serve customers!