Selling alcoholic beverages without a license is prohibited and punishable under law. Therefore entrepreneurs are required to obtain license for running a wine shop in India. If you plan to open a wine shop in India, then this post is just what you are looking for. We will be discussing on Wine shop license.
Wine Shop License for selling alcohol
Liquor or alcohol has a complex socio legal backdrop due to the effects it has on people. Moreover, it is only recently that India has registered a spike in people who drink. There were many stringent prohibitions and stigma with people who consumed alcohol. However, to come over these stigmas and bring a standardized method for sale and alcohol consumption, the government established certain basic rules.
Now, all establishments serving alcohol should have a valid liquor license. The price of the wine shop license and the process of applying differs between states.
What does the wine shop license regulate?
This license regulates the following:
Which businesses can sell alcohol;
When and where a company may sell alcohol;
The quantity of alcohol being sold;
Charges for the alcohol being sold;
The type of alcohol being sold;
To whom the alcohol is sold; and
Who may manufacture and distribute alcohol.
Different types of Liquor Licenses
The different types of Liquor Licenses include the following:
Wine shop and beer license
Sale of only mild liquors like beers and wine. They cannot deal with hard liquor.
Tavern Liquor License
This is for those establishments who get half of their profits through liquor sale.
Restaurant Liquor License
This is granted if the income of the restaurant from the sale of alcohol doesn’t exceed 40%.
Brewpub Liquor License
It is required for those who make/brew their wine and beer.
It is the wholesale license to supply liquor to other license holders.
This allows hotels to serve foreign liquor to customers in their rooms/in bars.
It is required for retail vendors of Indian Liquors and beers.
It is required for clubs that serve foreign liquor.
L49 is for a person who seeks to serve liquor at a party.
For the retail sale of foreign liquor.
For the retail sale of Indian and Foreign Liquor.
Required by hotels for serving foreign alcohol for a function.
For serving the alcohol at a particular function in a city.
Documents required for obtaining a Wine Shop License
Every state’s documents may differ as per state and their laws, but here is a general list of documents required:
Identity proof of the applicant;
Address proof of the applicant;
Address proof of the place of business;
NOC from fire department;
NOC from Municipal Corporation;
An application with personal and business details;
Memorandum of Association and Article of Association for Companies;
Latest ITR copy;
A photograph of an applicant;
An affidavit declaring that the applicant applying for such license has no past criminal records; and
An affidavit declaring that the applicant applying for such license has no pending dues.
Procedure for obtaining wine shop license
As every state has its own laws concerning the sale and consumption of alcohol, you may consult a lawyer for better advice.
Firstly decide what type or class of license you require;
Then go to the official website of the State Excise Department;
Download a wine shop license application form from that website;
Fill the form with requisite details like the type of liquor, premises for business, type of license, and background details;
Submit the form with supporting documents to the concerned department;
It may be noted that you will be required to pay the application fee at the time of form submission;
The authority shall check and verify the details submitted by you and may request for any additional information if required;
You will receive a notice at your place or personal address containing the license details once the details are verified; and
If there is any objection, then you are required to defend yourself, and if nothing happens, you will obtain the liquor license.
Things to keep in mind before getting a Wine shop license
As the production, sale, and consumption of liquor comes under state list as per seventh schedule, every state has its own liquor laws.
The legal drinking age also differs as per the location as liquor distribution and consumption varies from state to state.
The Delhi Excise Department had asked the government to bring the age limit down from 25 to 21 for the consumption of wine and beer. However, the limit shall remain at 25 for consumption of hard liquor.
Although the law dictates that individuals require a license from a government civil hospital to drink in Maharashtra, it hasn’t been enforced. Moreover, the state legislature provides districts government to ban alcohol entirely. Many districts have already followed suit. States like Bihar, Gujarat, Nagaland prohibit the sale of alcohol.
A liquor license is valid for one year from the date of issue after which it has to be renewed annually through renewal application. Enterprises are required to file all such applications 30 days before its expiry.
Such license may be revoked under the following circumstances:
Serving liquor on government declared dry days;
Serving liquor to minors; and
Violates the rules of State Excise Department.
What is the fee for Wine shop license in India?
The price of this license depends upon the following factors:
State liquor license may cost anywhere between 5000 rupees to 15000 rupees as per the state. The annual license fee in Tier-1 cities is 10 lakhs rupees, whereas in case of tier 2 cities it’s 7.5 lakhs rupees.
Running a wine shop without following the above-mentioned guidelines can be punishable therefore, you are advised to consult a professional who shall guide you as per your respective state laws.
Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.