Liquor License Indiana: Everything You Need to Know

Liquor License Indiana: Everything You Need to Know

How to Obtain a Liquor License in Indiana: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you considering opening a bar or restaurant in Indiana? One crucial aspect of launching such a business is obtaining a liquor license. In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about liquor licenses in Indiana, including the types available, the application process, associated costs, and more.

Understanding Liquor License Types in Indiana

Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to understand the various types of liquor licenses available in Indiana. These licenses cater to different establishments and permit holders, each with its own set of regulations and privileges. Here are the primary types:

  • Restaurant Liquor License: This license allows restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. It’s suitable for establishments primarily focused on serving food.
  • Bar Liquor License: Bars and taverns typically hold this license, enabling them to serve alcoholic beverages without the requirement of serving food.
  • Package Liquor Store License: This license permits the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption. It’s commonly held by liquor stores and convenience stores.

The Cost of Obtaining a Liquor License in Indiana

One of the primary considerations for aspiring business owners is the cost associated with obtaining a liquor license. The fees can vary based on the type of license and other factors. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs:

  • Application Fee: The initial application fee can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the license type.
  • Annual Renewal Fee: License holders are typically required to pay an annual renewal fee to maintain their license.
  • Additional Fees: There may be additional fees for background checks, zoning permits, and other requirements.

The Application Process for Obtaining a Liquor License

Now that you’re familiar with the types and costs of liquor licenses in Indiana, let’s explore the application process:

  1. Research Requirements: Start by researching the specific requirements and regulations for the type of liquor license you need. This may include zoning restrictions, background checks, and more.
  2. Complete the Application: Obtain the necessary application forms from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) website and fill them out accurately.
  3. Submit Required Documents: Along with the application, you’ll need to submit various documents, such as proof of ownership or lease agreement, financial statements, and identification.
  4. Attend a Hearing: Depending on the type of license, you may need to attend a hearing before the local Alcohol and Tobacco Commission board.
  5. Pay Fees: Ensure that you include the required fees with your application. This includes the application fee and any additional charges.
  6. Wait for Approval: Once you’ve submitted your application and attended any required hearings, you’ll need to wait for approval from the ATC.

Common Challenges in the Liquor License Application Process

While obtaining a liquor license in Indiana can be a straightforward process, there are common challenges that applicants may encounter:

  • Stringent Regulations: Indiana has strict regulations governing liquor licenses, and navigating these regulations can be challenging for first-time applicants.
  • Local Opposition: In some cases, local communities may oppose the issuance of new liquor licenses, leading to additional hurdles in the application process.
  • Background Checks: Applicants and their associates may undergo thorough background checks as part of the application process, which can delay approval if issues arise.

Timeline for Obtaining a Liquor License

The timeline for obtaining a liquor license in Indiana can vary depending on various factors, including the type of license and local regulations. However, applicants should generally expect the process to take several months from the initial application to approval.

Factors that can affect the timeline include:

  • Type of License: Different types of liquor licenses may have different processing times.
  • Local Regulations: Local ordinances and regulations can influence the processing time for liquor license applications.
  • Background Checks: Background checks for applicants and their associates may take time to complete.
  • Public Hearings: Some liquor license applications may require public hearings, which can extend the approval process.

Yearly Costs of Maintaining a Liquor License

In addition to the initial application and renewal fees, it’s essential to consider the yearly costs associated with maintaining a liquor license in Indiana. These costs can vary depending on several factors:

  • Renewal Fee: License holders are required to pay an annual renewal fee to maintain their liquor license.
  • Local Taxes: Some municipalities may impose additional taxes or fees on liquor license holders.
  • Compliance Costs: Ensuring compliance with state and local regulations may incur additional expenses, such as training programs or inspections.
  • Legal Fees: License holders may need to consult legal professionals to address any compliance issues or legal challenges that arise.

It’s essential for business owners to budget for these ongoing expenses to ensure the continued operation of their establishments.

Choosing the Right Point of Sale System for Your Establishment

Alongside obtaining a liquor license, selecting the right point of sale (POS) system is crucial for the success of your bar or restaurant. Biyo POS offers a comprehensive solution tailored to the needs of the hospitality industry.

Biyo POS provides features such as:

  • Efficient order management: Biyo POS offers features to streamline the order-taking process, including quick order entry, order modification, and order tracking.
  • Inventory tracking: The system allows you to monitor your inventory levels in real-time, track stock movements, and receive alerts for low inventory items.
  • Integrated payment processing: Biyo POS integrates seamlessly with payment processors, allowing for secure and efficient transactions. Customers can pay using various methods, such as credit cards, mobile payments, or cash.
  • Customizable menu options: You can easily customize your menu items, categories, and modifiers to meet the specific needs of your establishment. This flexibility enables you to tailor the menu to your target audience and seasonal offerings.
  • Detailed reporting and analytics: Biyo POS provides detailed reports on sales, inventory, employee performance, and more. These insights help you make informed decisions to optimize your business operations and maximize profitability.

With Biyo POS, you can streamline your operations, enhance customer experience, and ensure compliance with liquor licensing regulations in Indiana.


Obtaining a liquor license in Indiana is a crucial step for anyone looking to open a bar or restaurant in the state. By understanding the different license types, costs, and application process, you can navigate the process more effectively. Additionally, choosing the right point of sale system, such as Biyo POS, can further optimize your business operations and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

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