For many, Spring is the time to break out the golf clubs and enjoy a day in the sun, but for those in New Jersey holding a liquor license it is the dreaded liquor license (the “License”) renewal season. All Licenses must be renewed annually whether they are actively used or pocketed. A License term runs from July 1st to June 30th each year. In May of each year the local ABC Board Clerk or where applicable, the Municipal Clerk, forwards the renewal application package to the Licensee. Usually the renewal application is a one-page, computer-generated form but periodically the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“NJABC”) requires the Licensee to file a full twelve-page application. It is each Licensee’s responsibility to complete the application, attach pages to correct the application if necessary, and return to the appropriate municipal official together with the applicable municipal and NJABC renewal fees in sufficient time for the municipality to pass a resolution renewing the License prior to its expiration date. All retail Licenses must be issued a Tax Clearance Certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation before the License can be renewed. If an objection is filed to the renewal, a hearing must be held before the governing body or the local ABC Board before it can act on the license renewal. Additionally, the Board’s Resolution renewing the License may contain special conditions applicable to the License operations. If the renewal is not acted upon or approved by the governing body or local ABC Board by resolution by July 1st then the Licensee must cease all alcoholic beverage sale activity. If Licensee has filed the necessary renewal application with all accompanying fees then the Licensee may apply to the NJABC for issuance of an “Ad Interim” Permit to continue operations until Municipal action is taken on the License renewal. A copy of the annual Liquor License must be posted on the licensed premises in view of the customers and the current License application, with all amendments maintained for inspection.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.