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Procedures to obtain permits to open a bar

The management of permits to open a bar It should be part of your business plan, because you have already decided to immerse yourself in this type of business, you have thought about your initial capital, if you need investors.

But you still need more time and patience to open your bar legally, so pay attention because although these are not fun procedures, they are all essential.

Licenses and permits to open a bar

Between the permits to open a bar You must apply for the business license that any type of business that operates in the United States needs.

By obtaining the commercial license you will be able to operate legally. However, you also need to request other licenses in addition to paying a certain percentage of the total sales or an annual fee.

You can manage it from the official website of the state government where your bar is located, but remember that you must renew it every year.

Business license:

If you plan to sell alcoholic beverages at the bar, you will need to obtain a federal business license in addition to a state business license.

As for the cost of the business license it is 50 dollars, but it can vary according to the expected benefits of your business.


All companies operating in the United States are required to apply for the employer identification number or EIN that is assigned by the IRS.

This is the tax identification number. However, you must have patience and time to manage it because the IRS only issues one EIN per day, but you can request it by mail, by phone, by fax or online at the official IRS website.

Occupancy certificate:

The certificate of occupancy is issued after the location of the bar has been approved by the local building or zoning department inspection.

Since the procedure for obtaining the certificate of occupancy varies depending on each jurisdiction and the structure of the building, you must manage it from the official website of the local government at a cost of $ 100.

Food service license:

Usually the food service license is issued by the city or county health department, so go to your local health department in person or online and apply for the fixed, temporary or mobile license,

But remember that to request it you will need the name of the bar, a permanent kitchen address and the owner’s personal information. Be sure to read the fine print and license renewal because the license may expire in some locations.

The health department will conduct a visit to the establishment to ensure that it complies with all food safety regulations for bars.

The cost varies according to location and number of employees, but you generally think of a value from $ 100 to $ 1,000.

Once you are licensed, the health department will continue to make regular visits to your bar to inspect it.

In the event that in one of these inspections the facility is found to be in failure, the inspector may revoke the food service license.

Sample permission:

The sample permit is nothing more than the illuminated advertising that you will place to attract the attention of your customers.

Everything about size, location and lighting varies by city. If you are renting the building, it is a good idea to obtain written approval from the owner of the building.

Registration permission:

If it is an open air salt sign, it must be approved by the local government.

For example, in California, business owners must hire a licensed contractor to design, install the signage, and then take the design ideas to the mayor’s planning department for approval.

Liquor license:

Keep in mind that getting a liquor license can take more than a year, so you should manage it as soon as possible, since most communities grant only a limited number of liquor licenses and new ones are granted when the population of the city increases.

But you can also consider buying a liquor license from an existing bar and this will save you time.

Tips and permissions to open a bar

In addition to the management of all permits to open a bar that you have read you should think about the type of bar you plan to open, since it can be a night or sports bar, so prepare a business plan before opening it.

To do this, research your competitors in the area and try to improve the service and even do some research on the location of your bar and its surroundings, since for example if you plan to sell alcoholic beverages it will not work well if it is near a university campus, but if you place it in an upscale neighborhood with a professional community it can work very well.

It is also important that you gain experience in running a bar and in the alcoholic beverage service industry, as a lack of knowledge about the industry is one of the main causes of failure.

In fact, think that you will not only compete with other bars but also with the entertainment industry, for this reason you need experience.