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Liquor By the Drink - Limited Service Restaurant

A limited service restaurant liquor-by-the-drink permit allows you to sell liquor, wine and high-gravity beer at a restaurant located in a city or county which has authorized the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premise.

A limited service restaurant permit is valid for one (1) year from the date of issue and the cost is based on the percentage of food sales. The forms and fees for this license are available under Public Information and Forms.


Requirements

  • A public place which has a seating capacity for at least forty (40) at tables that is kept, used, maintained, advertised and held out to the public as a place where during regular hours of operation:
    • Alcoholic Beverages, beer or wine are served to patrons
    • A menu of prepared food is made available to patrons
    • The gross revenue from the sale of prepared food is fifty percent (50%) or less. For the purposes of determining the gross revenue from the sale of prepared food, chips, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and other similar snack items shall not be included in the total of prepared food
    • The facility will comply with the requirements of 57-4-204 (prohibited sexual or pornographic conduct)
    • The facility provides adequate security during the regular hours of operation
    • Sleeping accommodations are not provided
  • The establishment must be in an area that is zoned for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • The establishment must have a sanitary and adequate kitchen

Restrictions

  • No person, firm or corporation having at least a five percent (5%) ownership interest in the establishment can have any conviction for 10 years prior to the application of a violation of the laws governing the sale or manufacture of alcoholic beverages or of any felony.
  • No entity holding a liquor-by-the-drink license shall employ any person to serve beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages that does not possess a server permit from the commission. That permit must be on the person of such employee, or on the premises of the licensed establishment subject to inspection by the commission or its duly authorized agent.

More Information
New Application Process

A non-refundable application process fee of $300.00 shall be paid when the application is initially submitted.
When your application documents are almost complete, call your local TABC office and make an appointment to come in so your application can be reviewed in your presence. If you prefer to mail your application in, be sure to include your contact information.

  • Fill out and submit the Application for License to Sell Alcoholic Beverages on Premise. The application for License to Sell Alcoholic Beverages on Premise should be fully complete in duplicate, with both copies notarized.
  • Proof of Possession
    • A Lease, Deed, or other acceptable documentation, indicating the applicant is actually leasing or in possession of the property, shall be furnished to this office. It is also required for the applicant to furnish a copy of the Deed that is registered with the Register of Deed's Office. These documents shall be complete and legible.
    • If the application is from a corporation, LLC, or partnership, the lease should be to that entity that will hold the license.
  • If you have a management agreement, submit a copy to the TABC.
  • If you have a purchase agreement or bill of sale, submit a copy to the TABC.
  • If you have a loan associated with the purchase or start-up of this business, submit a copy of your loan documentation.
  • Fill out and submit the Alcoholic Beverage Commission questionnaire
    • Owners, partners, officers, managers and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more in the corporation/business should complete these forms. All questions should be answered, even if the answer is N/A (not applicable), and the questionnaire should be signed and notarized.
  • Fill out and submit the List of Corporate Stockholders and Officers with names, titles and percentages of ownership.
  • Fill out and submit the Declaration of Citizenship with the appropriate copies of your Identification.
    • Owners, partners, officers, and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more should complete the declaration of citizenship form.
  • Submit a letter from zoning that shows that the area is zoned for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises.
  • Fill out and submit the security affidavit, with a copy of the security plan attached.
  • Submit a copy of your Business Plan projecting the expected percentage of food sales.
  • Submit a copy of the menu.
    • Must be properly printed - not handwritten – with prices. (It is not necessary to provide the typical plastic cover or jacket with the menu.)
  • Certificate of Occupancy
    • The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local municipality’s codes department. Please contact the local codes department in the jurisdiction in which the store will be located for additional information. This comes from the building inspector, stating that the building meets code, not the occupancy number from the fire marshal.
  • Submit a copy of your city/county business license.
  • Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission inspects the premises.
    • An inspection will be conducted only when an application has been submitted to the local TABC office, and the establishment is ready to open. All fire and building inspections must be complete and satisfactory: tables placed in their final location; any patio areas are defined; required signs are posted; etc. The applicant should contact the local TABC office and schedule an inspection. The agent will bring you a copy of the rules and regulations and the pregnancy warning sign.
  • Other documentation may be requested after your application is submitted.
  • You annual license fee will be due after the inspection, before the license can be issued.

Secretary of State

  • Submit a copy of your Charter, Articles of organization or partnership agreement from the State of Tennessee.
    • (This document is required only if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) or a formal partnership.) A filed copy of the Tennessee charter must be furnished to the local TABC office. If an out-of-state charter has been issued, then approval to do business in the State of Tennessee must be obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office, 6th Floor, William Snodgrass Building, 7th Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Union Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, telephone (615) 741-2286. If a corporation is registered out-of-state, then a copy of that charter should also be furnished.
  • Submit a copy of the Certificate of Existence from the Secretary of State’s office if you are a corporation or LLC.

Department of Revenue

  • From the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the applicant must obtain a sales tax number, liquor-by-the-drink tax number, and a bond application. For a liquor-by-the-drink establishment, the bond requirement is $10,000.00.  The bond should be submitted to the Department of Revenue. Please be advised that written verification from the Department of Revenue that the applicant has a valid bond must be received by the TABC prior to the issuance of any license.
  • Application for Registration sales and use tax
    • Submit the original application to the Department of Revenue and submit a copy to the TABC. The TABC will need a copy of the sales and use tax certificate of registration when received from the Department of Revenue.
  • Fill out and submit the Price Schedule for Sales of Alcoholic Beverages for Consumption on the Premises to the Department of Revenue
    • Submit the original to the Department of Revenue and submit a copy with your application to the TABC.
    • Information and questions pertaining to this form should be directed to the Department of Revenue.

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

  • Complete the Alcohol Dealer Registration form, submit a copy of the completed form to the TABC and mail the original to the Cincinnati address for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on page 2 of the form.
  • City or County Privilege Tax
    • After the insurance of an on-premise consumption license by the TABC, the licensee must also pay a privilege tax to the local municipality or county. The privilege tax is limited to license fees set in 2003 according to T.C.A.§ 57-4-301(b). Please contact the local municipality and/or county in which the establishment is located for additional information.

* All forms must be completely filled out, signed and notarized.

* All payments must be made with a money order, cashier's check or business check from the licensed establishment and made payable to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Global money orders will not be accepted.

* Notaries are available at the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission office for walk in clients. You must be present, have proper identification and the notary must witness your signature.

Renewal Information

Approximately one month prior to your expiration date a TABC agent will conduct a renewal inspection at your establishment. All documents and the renewal fee should be received in the TABC office prior to the expiration date of the license. You must be current on all taxes and have a valid bond in place before your license can renew. Call the Department of Revenue to verify that your taxes and bond are current before submitting your renewal paperwork to the TABC. If your taxes and bond are not current by the time your license expires, you can be fined for a late renewal, even if your renewal was received in the TABC office prior to expiration.

  • Submit the renewal license fee based on your percentage of food sales. Contact your local TABC office, give them the figures from your food affidavit, an they can figure the percentage for you.
  • Fill out and submit the application for license to sell alcoholic beverages on premise. The application for license to sell alcoholic beverages on premise should be fully complete in duplicate, with both copies signed and notarized.
  • Fill out and submit a completed food affidavit.
  • Fill out and submit a completed stockholders/officers/members form.
  • Submit any other documentation required for your renewal.

* All forms must be completely filled out, signed and notarized.

* All payments must be made with a money order, cashier's check or business check from the licensed establishment and made payable to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Global money orders will not be accepted.

* Notaries are available at the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission office for walk in clients. You must be present, have proper identification and the notary must witness your signature.