How to Apply for an Alcohol License

About the Alcohol License for Businesses

The City of Atlanta Police Department License and Permit Unit regulates the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on premises via the issuance of an alcohol license.

Alcohol License Process
STEP ONE – Do you have the right location?
The first step to getting an alcohol license is making sure that you have the right location. This is essential because licenses are granted per location and if a license has been revoked, it will not be granted to the location, even if the ownership has changed.

  • Zoning Enforcement Division
    • Go to the Zoning Enforcement Division to verify if your desired location has been approved for your intended use.
  • Alcohol Certified Survey
    • Contact a certified surveyor to perform an Alcohol Certified Survey or Distance Survey. These surveys help determine whether or not your location would be in compliance with the State of Georgia Code which dictates that you must -- feet from a school, church or government building. A certified survey of the proposed premises depicting the distance requirements as specified on the alcoholic beverage application. The survey must also state how the property was measured (from what point of the premises to what point of the measured location and the direction of measurement).
  • Floor Plan
    • A drawing of the alcohol license premises including the customer service area (if restaurant, club, bar, etc.), must accompany the application. This includes measurements of total square footage of service area.
  • Parking requirements
    • You must provide a certified statement that verifies your establishment meets parking requirements according to 10-57(3).
  • Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) Form
    • The applicant must meet with the Neighborhood Planning Unit for their business site and the NPU form must be signed by the NPU Chairperson AND the Department of Planning (404) 330-6145. This form must be submitted before the application can be placed on the License Review Board Agenda. *NPU information can be obtained from 55 Trinity Ave. SW, Suite 3350. Call (404) 330-6145 for more information.

STEP TWO - Complete an application and prepare the required documents

Complete two written applications and prepare the required documents prior to your arrival to ensure a successful visit.

If you are the licensee-agent, you will need to complete the following:

  • Federal Clearance Letter
    • You will need to complete a federal clearance letter for yourself and if you are married, you will need a federal clearance letter for your spouse. You may obtain your federal clearance letter by going to the Federal District Court (see the clerk of the court) at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building at 75 Spring Street. This federal clearance letter verifies that neither you nor your spouse have been convicted of a crime within the past ten years. 
  • Certificate of Residence
    • You must reside in one of the thirteen Metro-Atlanta counties (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale). The probate court of the county in which you may reside may sign the certificate-verifying residency. (See the Clerk of Superior Court).
  • Proof of Citizenship
    • You must a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. A copy of the citizenship naturalization certificate or resident alien status is required.
  • Three Letters of Reference
    • You must furnish a letter of reference from any three (3) persons who have known you for at least three (3) years. Letters must include name, address and telephone number.
  • Valid photo identification
  • Two small color photos (size 2 x 2, passport size if possible)

For the business itself, you will need to provide:

  • Corporate Papers
    • Submit a certificate of incorporation, a copy of the corporate charter/by-laws that have been properly signed by the Secretary of State and the registered agents(s) for the corporation. List all percentages held and title of each officer on the application.
  • Lease or Valid Document
    • Shows applicant has legal access to the proposed premises (deed, lease, sublease, rental agreement, etc.).
  • Financial Investments
    • All applicants must furnish, at the time of filing application, all financial investments pertaining to the business operation. If documents are bank statements, the six months immediately preceding the investment are required.
  • Menu
    • If applying as a restaurant, a copy of the menu is required showing the food served for on premise consumption.

STEP THREE – Visit the License and Permit Unit for your interview and application submittal

Once you have obtained all of the required documents and completed two applications, you will need to make an appointment with an investigator for an interview. You may submit the application in person while you are at the interview.

  • Interview
  • Personal history form
    • One personal history card, the applicant will be fingerprinted in the License and Permits Office. If applicant is a corporation, the agent and first (5) corporate officers or major stockholders must complete a personal history card and be fingerprinted.
  • Finger print
    • PERSONAL HISTORY FORM – One personal history card, the applicant will be fingerprinted in the License and Permits Office. If applicant is a corporation, the agent and first (5) corporate officers or major stockholders must complete a personal history card and be fingerprinted. $20 per person.
  • Background check
    • $50 processing fee for the background check. This background check verifies that there are no outstanding charges against that individual.

STEP FOUR – Other regulatory agency approval

After you successfully complete the interview and pass your background check, you may proceed to the following agencies.

  • County Health Department
    • Fulton County
      Department of Health and Wellness
      Environmental Health Services
      99 Jesse Hill Jr Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30303
      Phone: 404.613.1301
      (Inspections may vary in price)
    • DeKalb County
      DeKalb Central Health Center
      440 Winn Way Decatur, GA 30030
      Phone: 404.508.7900
      (Inspections may vary in price)
    • Clayton County Health Department
      1117 Battle Creek Rd., Jonesboro, GA 30236
      Phone: 678.610.7199
      (Inspections may vary in price according to type and size)
  • Buildings
    • City of Atlanta
      Office of Buildings
      55 Trinity Ave. Suite 3900, Atlanta, GA 30303
      Depending on the square footage of space you plan to operate on, you will need to pay a fee. Make sure you pass the plan review, by illustrating in your site plans that you have a partition for the beer and wine.
  • Fire Department
    • City of Atlanta
      Atlanta Fire and Rescue
      Public Safety Headquarters
      226 Peachtree St. SW, 1st Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303
      Phone: 404.546.7000
  • Affidavit of Publication in the Atlanta Journal Constitution
    • Atlanta Journal Constitution
      LegalClass@ajc.com
      Phone: 404.526.5081
      You are required to submit the alcohol application fee receipt to place a legal notice of advertisement with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Per City Ordinance, it is required that the second day of the advertisement must be published at least ten days prior to the scheduled meeting with the License Review Board. 
  • License Review Board
    • The License Review Board, to appear before the board, you must have the advertisement and the NPU. All other letters can be pending. License Review Board can approve the license pending approval from Fire Buildings and Health.

STEP FIVE – Obtain your alcohol license at City Hall

Once the Mayor’s Office receives all the information, you can go to the Licenses Business Office and pay the final fee to receive your license. You will receive your City License.

Alcohol cannot be sold or served unless a license has been approved by the state.

  • Georgia Department of Revenue
    Atlanta Headquarters
    1800 Century Centre Blvd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30345
    Phone: 404.417.4477

Fees

Acceptable forms of payment are money order and cashier’s check. The following money orders will NOT be accepted: Fidelity Express, United One and US Express.

The fee for the alcohol license for the full year is $5,000. If you apply for your license after July 1, your license fee is prorated to $2,500.

Processing Application and Background Check Fee: $50.00
Fingerprint Fee: $20.00
Application Filing Fee (Non-Refundable): $300.00 per set of applications
Annual License Fees - see table below.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE DESCRIPTION ANNUAL LICENSE FEES
BEER AND WINE CONSUMED $5,000.00
BEER AND WINE CONSUMED ADDITIONAL FACILITY $1,417.50
BEER AND WINE PACKAGED $5,000.00
BEER AND/OR WINE - SPECIAL EVENT $1,000.00
BEER AND/OR WINE ARTS - THEATRE $1,000.00
BEER CONSUMED $2,500.00
BEER CONSUMED AND WINE PACKAGED $5,000.00
BEER CONSUMED ADDITIONAL FACILITY $506.25
BEER CONSUMED SUITE HOTEL $2,500.00
BEER MANUFACTURING $5,000.00
BEER PACKAGE $2,500.00
BEER WINE CONSUMED SUITE HOTEL $5,000.00
BOTTLE HOUSE - SELLS SETUPS ONLY $2,000.00
FOOD SPECIALTY SHOP $3,150.00
LIQUOR BEER AND WINE SUITE HOTEL $5,000.00
LIQUOR MANUFACTURING $5,000.00
LIQUOR MANUFACTURING (GEORGIA) $5,000.00
MIXED DRINKS - ARTS - THEATRE $1,000.00
MIXED DRINKS - SPECIAL $1,000.00
MIXED DRINKS, BEER, WINE - SPECIAL $1,000.00
MIXED DRINKS, BEER, WINE ART - THEATRE $1,000.00
MIXED DRINKS, BEER AND WINE $5,000.00
MIXED DRINKS, BER, WINE ADDITIONAL FACILITY $5,000.00
RETAIL PACKAGE LIQUOR STORE $5,000.00
WHOLESALE BEER (INSIDE CITY) $2,000.00
WHOLESALE LIQUOR (INSIDE CITY) $5,000.00
WHOLESALE WINE (INSIDE CITY) $2,000.00
WHOLESALER, IMPORTER BEER $2,000.00
WHOLESALER, IMPORTER LIQUOR $3,750.00
WHOLESALER, IMPORTER WINE $2,000.00
WINE CONSUMED $2,500.00
WINE CONSUMED SUITE HOTEL $2,500.00
WINE MANUFACTURING $2,250.00
WINE PACKAGE $2,500.00
WINE TASTING ROOM $2,500.00
WINE TASTING SPECIALTY SHOP $2,362.50
WINE TASTING (PACKAGE-SUN SALE) $3,750.00

Required Documents

Save Affidavit
Secure and Verifiable ID

 

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Location

Public Safety Annex
First Floor (on the right after the security checkpoint)
3493 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy
 
License and Permit Unit Hotline
(404) 546-4470

Hours of Operation (to accept financial transactions)
Monday  9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Friday  9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

We are closed on weekends and holidays.

If you only want to pick up an application, we are available until 5:00 p.m. Applications are also available online here.

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