In this article, Sarthak Modi of ILS Law College Pune how to obtain a Liquor license in Mumbai.
Liquor license in Mumbai
Liquor is a nontoxic liquid which contains Ethyl Alcohol. It is produced by distillation of grains, fruit, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. All liquids containing alcohol are known as liquor. There are mainly three types of liquor produced for consumption in India.
- Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) – This term is used to determine western-style hard liquors such as whisky, rum, vodka, etc., which are manufactured in India.
- Country Made Liquor – These are indigenous recipes such as fenny, toddy etc.
A liquor license is a permit to sell alcoholic beverages. States don’t want just anyone selling liquor. That is the reason they require restaurants and businesses to apply for a liquor license. Purchasing, possessing, transporting, and consuming liquor without a valid permit is an offence under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. In Mumbai the excise department issues licence for buying and selling of Liquor.
The licenses can be broadly classified into two
- Wholesale Liquor License – means a person holding a licence in Form C.I.W. II under these rules to sell duty paid country liquor by wholesale. TOD/III under the Maharashtra Country liquor Rules, 1973, to sell country liquor by retail.
- Retail Liquor License – “ retail licence ” means a person holding a licence in Form C.L.III or C.L./F.L/
General guidelines for obtaining Liquor license
What Specific class of License you want?
Wholesale Liquor License
- Wholesale license for wine : Trade and Import Licence for removal a custom frontier.
- Licence authorising the storage and wholesale sale of duty paid country liquor to retail shop.
- Wholesale sale of foreign Liquor.
Retail Liquor License
- Permit room license
- Club License
- Beer Shoppe Licence
- Mild Liquor and wine bar License
- Wine bar License
- Wine Shoppe License
Determine whether you need an on license or an off license
- You will need a license if the liquor you sell is intended to be consumed on the premises. Examples of businesses needing a license include bars, restaurants etc
- You need an off license if you don’t intend alcohol to be consumed at the place of selling it. Examples of businesses that require an outside license include liquor stores, grocery stores and drug stores.
Start as early as possible
- If you intend to open a pub or restaurant serving alcohol, it is important that you start your liquor license as early as possible.
To get approval for a liquor license it takes time in some places as long as a year. Therefore, this should be one of the first considerations when planning your new business venture.
- Complete the required form and provide any required documentation.
- The application will contain details about your business and your personal background.
- Details of your age, your business experience, and a clean personal record may affect the state’s decision to grant you a license.
- You must also include a number of important documents in your application. These include: a certificate of incorporation, a partnership agreement, your company’s constitution, a copy of your proposed food menu, photos or drawings of the exterior of the building and a floor plan of the interior, a code compliance certificate, a copy of the title certificate for the premises.
- Renew your liquor license annually. You must renew your liquor license on an annual basis, which means you have to pay a renewal fee.
- Keep in mind that if you stay with your local agency during the year, you may be entitled to a reduced fee.
- Be aware that your license can be revoked. Understand that your license may be revoked if you violate your local agency’s terms of service. Ordinary offenses include the sale of alcohol to a minor, the supply of alcoholic drinks to customers and to stumble an employee on the premises.
Conditions under which authority grants license
Section 34 – Vendor’s licenses
- The government may, according to rules or a written order give an official permission to give a vendor license for the sale of foreign liquor.
- An entrepreneurial license is granted under the following conditions:
(i) The stock of foreign liquor from the licensee (except for disposal at the store) will be held by him at 12 godowns approved by the government.
(ii) The license holder pays all leases, costs and expenses related to warehouses and surveillance.
Section 35 – Hotel licenses
The government may, by rules or an order in writing, authorize an officer to grant licenses to the managers of hotels to sell foreign liquor to the holders of permits under this Act:
Provided that the government is satisfied that such a hotel usually has a sufficient number of staff members eligible to hold permits.
Such licenses are issued under the following conditions:
- Liquor will be sold to the permit holders living or boarding at the hotel.
- Consumption of liquor sales will not be allowed in any of the rooms of the hotel to which any member of the public has access.
- The hotel license holders must pay the expenses of any officer of the excise institution, if any, for the grant and control of permits on the premises or for the supervision of the issue and consumption of foreign liquor in the hotel.
- The procedure to obtain wholesale licence for selling liquor is mentioned in Part-III of Bombay Prohibition Act ,1949.
- Anyone who wants to obtain the wholesale licence shall make an application to the Commissioner through the Superintendent of the district in which he desires to establish a warehouse for the purpose of storing the country liquor.
- Then superintendent shall verify the particulars given therein and satisfy himself that the building or rooms of the warehouse for the purpose of sale of liquor conform to the requirements of rule 15.
- The requirements of warehouse premises are also mentioned in the act.
Renewal of bar/shop license
In Mumbai City Restaurants with Grade 1 have been given the facility of obtaining the Bar Licence i.e. Permit room licence for “ON- Consumption” and FL II licences have been given to the shops to sale sealed Bottles for “OFF- Consumption”. The duration of these licences is for one year.
Under what Rule/Act the license is issued
Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules 1953. The license is issued under the Rule 24, 44, 47 and Special Permit Rules 1952 for Beer Bars.
How to Apply
Any person desiring to renew a license shall, thirty days before the date of expiry of license, apply for renewal thereof. Every application shall be accompanied by a challan, evidence of payment of application fee of Rs.25/- and renewal fees as fixed by the State Govt. from time to time.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application
- The licensee desiring to renew the license should apply in the prescribed form along with Rs.1/- Court fee stamp.
- Application fee of Rs.25/- in challan
- Licence fee challan as fixed by the State Govt. from time to time
- Income tax/Sales Tax clearance certificate or affidavit.
- Partnership Deed copy or Declaration regarding no change in the Partnership or status of the institution
- Documents regarding Ownership/Tenancy of the premises
- Licence in Original
License for purchasing, consuming and transporting alcohol
- If a person in Maharashtra is buying alcohol than he needs to be a major (i.e. above 18); as per Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 Section-18. However he cannot consume the alcohol, because the consumption age in Maharashtra is 25 (as per Bombay Prohibition Act,1949- Part VI-A Rule 70D).
- Such a law becomes difficult to enforce as there are very limited ways to ensure that any person who is under 25 do not consume the alcohol.
- Even if he is caught with alcohol he cannot be punished if he is above 18.
- If an individual wants to buy alcohol he first need to get a license from the government.
- He needs to show that license to the vendor before making a purchase.
- A person is allowed to possess only 12 units of alcohol at a time.
Cost of obtaining liquor license
- The temporary club licence or party permit fees for bigger parties (more than 100 people) is Rs15,000. But smaller parties (below 100 people) is Rs10,000.
- For temporary club licences for liquor parties in smaller towns, such as Navi Mumbai, where the population is below 20 lakh, the mandatory licence will cost Rs10,000 for above 100 members and Rs7,000 for below 100 members.
- As per excise department rules, the FL-4 licence is needed to host a private liquor party in a flat or at a resort that presently costs Rs13,000 across cities in the state.
- Consumers must have this licence even if they are drinking with friends in an apartment or a house party organizer can be booked for illegal possession of liquor if he does not have permission to host the party.
- While only if a few friends are together, the consumer should at least have a Rs5 daily drinking permit.
- License fee for permit rooms is Rs. 544,000 and that for beer shops is Rs.150,000.
Digitalisation of Licensing process
- The state excise department also has an online portal and an app ‘excise.maharashtra.gov.in’ to grant liquor consumption permits.
- the permit could be obtained by simply keying your Aadhar Card number on the website or the app.
- A digital permit will be provided within few minutes of the application. The applicants can even check the application status online.
- Those applying for liquor permits must be aged 25 and above.
- A one-day drinking for foreign liquor costs Rs 5, country liquor costs Rs 2 whereas the annual permit costs Rs 100 and a lifetime one costs Rs 1,000.
- One can apply only one permit in a day.
- Earlier, applicants needed to go to the excise office to submit documents and pay fees, for getting the drinking permits.
Places where Liquor shops are prohibited
- The Supreme Court in December 2017 had banned the sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways across the nation from April 1,2017 but this order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.
- No liquor shop should be established in municipal corporations and municipalities within a distance of 50 metres from an existing place of worship or educational institutions and that a minimum distance of 100 metres should be maintained between such places in all other local bodies .
- No liquor shop should be established within 100 meters of a hospital.
Possession, consumption, or transportation of alcohol in Maharashtra without a permit can get you fined to Rs 50,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to five years.
This was all about how to get Liquor license in Mumbai. Do you have anything to add to the procedural aspect of how to get a Liquor license in Mumbai? Comment below and let us know.