Tips for Preparing Your Liquor License Application

When should I apply for a license?
The WSLCB can only issue licenses to businesses who are ready to start selling or manufacturing alcohol. Our estimated processing time for a new application is 60 days. We request that you apply within 30-90 days of your anticipated opening date .

Before applying for a license, please consider these key items:

Business Plan
During the licensing process you will be asked to describe the following:

  • Intent of your business
  • Owners of the business
  • Costs associated with opening your business
  • Source of funding
  • Anticipated opening date

Non-Retail Licenses
If you plan to produce, import or wholesale alcohol you will need a Federal Permit. You must have your approved permit prior to applying for your state liquor license.

Business Location
You need to have a proposed business location before applying for your license. WSLCB will verify your business has exclusive rights to the property (such as a lease or deed) before your license is issued.

Common Questions for New Business Owners

  • Can I operate my business inside my personal residence?
    • A liquor licensed business cannot be located inside a residence. It can be located on residential property as long as the licensed premises is separated or walled off from personal living quarters and has a separate entrance.
  • Can I have a pop-up or food truck license?
    • Washington does not allow for pop-ups or food truck licenses. Your location must be a brick and mortar building. A “Building” is defined as a stationary structure with floor to ceiling solid walls and a roof.
  • We do have permits for different activities or events that include the sale or service of alcohol. You can find a list of the different permits available and what they allow on our website here.
  • Does my city or county have different requirements from the WSLCB?
    • You will need to check with your city or county for building permits, zoning, and other local area requirements. Below is a list of common resources to help with your questions:
      • Contact the city or county office where your business will be located.
      • Business Licensing Services now processes business license applications for many cities. A list of partnering cities is available on their website.

You can find more answers to frequently asked questions by clicking here.





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