No BYOB If You Do Not Have A Liquor License

No BYOB If You Do Not Have A Liquor License

A common misconception that I often hear about the need to obtain a New York liquor license is usually stated something like: “Well I don’t really need the liquor license if I let them bring their own alcohol anyway.”  In New York, that is dead wrong and will cause you many problems if you are discovered operating in that fashion.  First, it is a misdemeanor and could cause you to have to close your doors for a time while the assistant DA in the particular county resolves the matter with you.  Second, your chances of getting an actual license will be substantially diminished.  As set out on the liquor authority’s website, here is the their official policy on BYOB:

“BYOB, or ‘Bring Your Own Bottle,’ where owners of establishments allow their customers to bring alcoholic beverages to their premises to be consumed on site, is NOT PERMITTED in unlicensed businesses in New York State.  You MUST have a license or permit to sell/serve beer, wine or liquor to the public. Venues without a license or permit may not allow patrons to ‘bring their own’ alcoholic beverages for consumption.  In addition, owners of businesses may not give away alcoholic beverages to their patrons.  Those that do are in violation of the NYS Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

Applicants should be aware that allowing BYOB without a license may jeopardize their chances for approval of their license.”

Take them seriously.

This blog post is not intended to consist of legal advice and you should always consult with a lawyer before acting on anything you find on the Internet.  If you have questions or comments about this post, about the topic, or if you need legal assistance, you should feel free to give us a call or send us an email.