Business Registration and Licensing | Doing Business in DC | ABRA

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Washington, DC Economic Partnership’s Doing Business in DC program on Business Registration and Licensing featuring Cynthia Simms, Community Resource Officer at the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

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Business Registration and Licensing | Doing Business in DC | ABRA

  1. 1. ABRA Liquor Licensing –Unveiling the Mystery
  2. 2. IntroductionWho We Are The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) issues and renews licenses that enable qualified businesses to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. ABRA ensures compliance with the ABC laws and regulations and takes appropriate enforcement action when licensees violate these laws. When appropriate, ABRA proposes new laws regulating the manufacture, distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the District. ABRA offers educational training , which assist ABC establishments in preventing underage individuals from purchasing and consuming alcoholic beverages. ABRA operates under the authority of a seven-member Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) that sets policy and parameters for the Agency. Members of the ABC Board are appointed by the Mayor and are confirmed by the City Council. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  3. 3. ABRA DivisionsI. Licensing • Responsible for the review and processing of all ABC License applications • Ensures all applications meet standards for licensure and recommends applications to Board for approvalII. Enforcement • Ensures licensees remain in compliance in accordance with Title 23 & Title 25 of the DC Official Code • Conducts regulatory inspections of licensed establishments • Issues citations when licensees are found to be in violation of the laws and regulationsIII. Adjudication • Acts on behalf of the Board in carrying out Board-imposed orders, actions, fines, penalties, and assists licensees in coming into compliance. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  4. 4. Off –Premise License ClassesClass A Licenses – Retail Stores – Beer, Wine and Spirits – Wholesaler – Authorized to sell beer, wine, and spirits to other licensed retailers for resale to consumers. – Manufacturer – Licensees are authorized to produce, distill and combine spirits, wine or beer for the purpose of manufacturing and resale to other licensees. – Cap on Retailer’s Class A Licenses – Cap amount is 250. ABRA is currently under this Cap amount and thus new Class A license applications are currently permitted. New legislative change: Bill 19-338, the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2011, amends section 722 of the D.C. Code to allow Class A and Class B licensees to apply to ABRA to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages until Midnight on Monday through Saturday. Class B licensees are also permitted to apply to ABRA to sell and deliver wine and beer until midnight on Sundays. Eligible licensees are still required to file a change of hours application with ABRA to request these later hours. This legislative change was effective July 1, 2011. Off-premise licensees are eligible to request later hours only if (1) the licensee does not have a voluntary agreement, or (2) the voluntary agreement does not contain any restrictions on hours. There is no fee to apply. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  5. 5. Off –Premise License ClassesClass B Licenses – Retail Stores – Beer, Wine, and Groceries – Wholesaler – Authorized to sell beer and wine to other licensed retailers for resale to consumers. – Manufacturer – Licensees are authorized to produce, distill and combine wine or beer for the purpose of manufacturing and resale to other licensees. – Cap on Retailer’s Class B Licenses – Cap amount is 300. ABRA is currently under this Cap amount and thus new Class B license applications are currently permitted. The Cap excludes Full-Service Grocery Stores. New Legislative Change: Bill 19-338, the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2011, amends section 722 of the D.C. Code to allow Class A and Class B licensees to apply to ABRA to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages until Midnight on Monday through Saturday. Class B licensees are also permitted to apply to ABRA to sell and deliver wine and beer until midnight on Sundays. Eligible licensees are still required to file a change of hours application with ABRA to request these later hours. This legislative change was effective July 1, 2011. Off-premise licensees are eligible to request later hours only if (1) the licensee does not have a voluntary agreement, or (2) the voluntary agreement does not contain any restrictions on hours. There is no fee to apply. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  6. 6. On–Premise License ClassesClass C Licenses – Beer, Wine & Spirits – CH – Hotels (Food Requirements) – CN – Nightclubs and Lounges – CR – Restaurants with food requirement of 45% or $2k per seat based on occupancy – CT – Licensees may be authorized to produce, distill and combine spirits, wine or beer for the purpose of manufacturing and resale to other licensees – CX – Multipurpose, Private Clubs, Rail Cars, Marine VesselsClass D Licenses – Beer & Wine – DH – Hotels (Food Requirements) – DN – Nightclubs and Lounges – DR – Restaurants with food requirement of 45% or $2k per seat based on occupancy – DT – Licensees may be authorized to produce, distill and combine spirits, wine or beer for the purpose of manufacturing and resale to other licensees – DX – Multipurpose, Private Clubs, Rail Cars, Marine Vessels Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  7. 7. On–Premise License ClassesNew Legislative Change:The Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Act of 2011 became law onSeptember 14, 2011. The Act contains a provision, effective October 1,2011, that allows Class C and Class D licensees to apply to ABRA to selland serve alcoholic beverages beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays. ClassC and D licensees are required to apply and file a change of hoursapplication with ABRA to request these earlier hours.On-premise licensees are eligible to request the earlier hours only if (1)the licensee does not have a voluntary agreement, or (2) the voluntaryagreement does not contain any restrictions on their hours. There is nofee to apply. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  8. 8. Caterer’s License A caterer is defined as a business entity engaged principally in the processing, preparation, and service of food products that has been prepared especially for the customer for an event, and the service of alcoholic beverages is incidental to the food preparation and service. A caterer’s license will not be granted or maintained by entities that only serve snack items. Snack items are ,but not limited to, potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, cookies, and candy.• Holders of on-premises licenses, classes C or D, may also apply for and hold a caterer’s license and must file a separate application for the caterer’s license.• Licensed caterers must maintain distinct records regarding their purchase of alcoholic beverages. Holders of on-premises licenses, classes C or D, must maintain separate distinct records for the two licenses for their purchase of alcoholic beverages.• Caterers may remove sealed alcoholic beverages containers from the event premises, and return such containers to the place of purchase (provided the wholesaler and retailer accepts such a return.)• Licensed caterers are required to furnish reports to ABRA every six months. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  9. 9. Before The ApplicationApplicants – Do Your Homework • Zoning - Make sure the location is zoned for appropriate license • Measurements – Most new license applications must be within appropriate distances of schools, libraries, parks, and recreation centers • DCRA Corporations Division - If applying as an entity (Corp., LLC, LP), it must be registered with DCRA Corporations Division • If new construction, please make sure appropriate permits have been issued or applied for. A liquor license can be approved prior to construction but not issued until all business licenses are provided • All applicants must be tax compliant; have no felony convictions within 10 years or misdemeanor convictions within 5 years Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  10. 10. The Application ProcessThree Phases I. Application Acceptance Licensing Specialist accepts the application, assesses the appropriate licensing fees, advertises the application and prepares placards for posting at the establishment to be licensed II. Application Approval After the 45-day notice period, applications that have not been protested go to the Board for approval III. License Issuance Licensing Specialist makes sure all documentation is complete, all appropriate business licenses and certificates are provided by the applicant and all entities and individuals are tax compliant before the license is issued Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  11. 11. The Application ProcessI. New Application Acceptance• Application Package is Complete• All documents supporting the entity and individuals accompany the application package• Letter of Intent to Lease or Lease Agreement is submitted• Zoning Certification• Certificate of Good Standing• Financial AffidavitII. Transfer Application Acceptance• No Substantial Change Form• Transfer Consent Form Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  12. 12. The Placard ProcessIII. For New Applications • 45-Day Notification Period • Placards must be posted and remain visible through the posting and petition dates. Failure to post can result in new placards with new dates extending the placard period • Applicant can request stipulated license with letter of support from ANC while placards are posted • Applicant must cease sale and service of alcohol if application is protested and protest is determined valid while applicant is operating on the stipulated license • Only on-premise, wholesaler, and manufacturer licenses are eligible for stipulated license • Contested licenses must be resolved through Adjudicative process before license application can be approved • No placards are issued for Transfer of Ownership Applications with no changes to the nature of operations Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  13. 13. The Application ProcessIV. New Application Approval • Landlord Affidavit • Menu (if applicable) • Exterior pictures and interior diagram of layout • Police Clearances from all individuals (DC and jurisdiction in which applicant resides if outside of DC) • Diagrams or photographs of area designated for Summer Garden or Sidewalk CaféV. New License issuance • All appropriate licenses and certificates from DCRA and OTR • Certificate of Occupancy • Settlement Statement • Clean Hands Certification • Final Inspection conducted by Enforcement Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  14. 14. The License Renewal ProcessI. Renewal Application and License Issuance • Complete Renewal Application • Must be signed and notarized by Board approved officers • Provide evidence of Good Standing with DCRA Corporations • Entity and Officer must be Clean Hands Compliant • New license is then issuedII. Renewal Placards • Placards are posted for 45 days • License renewal is not complete until placard period ends • Protests on renewed licenses do not impede operation of the establishment – licensee can continue to sell and serve • Renewal process is complete after protests have been resolved All Licenses come up for renewal every three years. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration October 28, 2011
  15. 15. More Information Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration 2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 400 South Washington, DC 20009 www.abra.dc.gov Phone: (202) 442-4423 Fax: (202) 442-9563 TTY: (746) 777-7776Office HoursMonday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm; license processing ends at 3:30 pmYou can also follow ABRA News on:FaceBookTwitter

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