Questions & Answers About How Not to Royally Screw Up Your Application for a Chicago Liquor License

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Here are the most common questions prospective clients ask before they consider hiring Liquor License Attorney Francis Ostian to get their liquor license.

And, as a result, avoid making costly mistakes and causing lengthy time delays.

Q. What Are the Steps to Getting a Chicago Liquor License?

A. Good news! I reveal all the steps to getting a Chicago liquor license in my newly updated FREE guide, “The 10 Essential Things You Need to Get Your Chicago Liquor License.”

In addition to the action steps, this useful resource sheds light on many restrictions… regulations…and obstacles that can block you from getting your liquor license.

For example:

Did you know that if you apply for a restaurant or a tavern liquor license, you need the correct ZONING CLASSIFICATION? See, if you don’t have the correct zoning classification, that can be an obstacle to getting your liquor license.

Also, did you know you cannot get a new liquor license if your business premise is located within 100-feet of a church, school, day care center, and other 100-foot restrictions?

And you’ll also want to make sure your business address is not located within a MORATORIUM DISTRICT.

In case you don’t know, a moratorium is an ordinance your local Alderman can pass at City Hall. If successful, the ordinance prohibits the issuance of your liquor license because no new alcohol licenses are allowed on your block.  

Thing is, this is just a sampling of the restrictions that can stop you from getting a liquor license. For this reason, I can’t stress this enough: Take the time to learn about the other restrictions before applying for a liquor license.

By taking the time to learn the liquor licensing process…

You won’t make the costly mistake of investing tens-of-thousands or hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in a build-out for your restaurant or bar or liquor store—only to have the Local Liquor Control Commissioner deny your liquor license.

That would be a disaster, right?

This now brings me to one of the most important documents you’ll submit with your liquor license application. And that is the FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM.  

In a nutshell, you’ll use this form to identify the source of funding for your new business.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you’ll invest at least $50,000 or more on a build-out for a bar or restaurant.

Well, you must identify where the money came from to fund your business. Did the money come from your checking or savings account…credit cards…a loan from a bank or individuals…stocks you sold…gifts from friends, for example?

Now, if the money came from your personal accounts…

You must provide your bank’s name, account number and date you opened the account. As well as identify the signatories on the account.

But that’s not all.

You must also explain how long it took to save up the money you’re investing. And reveal the source of those funds: Did the money come from your job… stocks…sale of real estate? Etc.

As you can see, the FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM requirements give you a taste of the intensive application process for getting a Chicago liquor license.  

Once again, I encourage you to educate yourself on the steps to getting a liquor license…the many restrictions that can stop you from getting your license…and the Financial Disclosure Form by getting your hands on my FREE guide, “The 10 Essential Things You Need to Get Your Chicago Liquor License.”

And while this guide is focused on the Chicago liquor license application…

You’d basically go through the same steps to get a liquor license in most of the surrounding suburbs.

Bottom line, the information in this newly updated FREE guide (incalculable value) will help you avoid making very costly mistakes and causing killer time delays.

There is no obligation for requesting this valuable resource. And, you can get it by calling (847) 777-9410 or by sending an email to liquorlicenseinc@gmail[DOT]com

That’s it. And my assistant will send you this guide as a PDF attachment.

By the way, here’s what a savvy businessman said about the “10 Essential Things You Need to Get Your Chicago Liquor License.”

“This fascinating guide is packed with great information, and takes some of Chicago’s most obscure laws around the sale of alcohol and makes them understandable. 

Even better, Francis shows how you can save yourself a lot of hassle and save money by getting the right kind of license for your restaurant or business.

In marketing, I help my clients find the right people and resources to help their businesses grow. I would highly recommend this guide to any Chicago restaurant owner—this is a resource you won’t want to miss out on. 

And Francis is the expert to hire when the time comes to get your liquor license.   

– John Verbrugge                                                                                                                                                                                    

President, Marketing Tech

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Call or send an email today, and take advantage of this opportunity to get the important information you need.

Q. How Much Does It Cost to Get a Restaurant Liquor License?

A. The City of Chicago’s application cost for a Consumption on Premises—Incidental Activity license—which is the license you get for a restaurant (COPIA license) is: $4,440. And the license is good for two years.

Now, here’s a warning:

You can lose all of your money. As well as your build-out money, and money you gave the landlord if you make mistakes during the application process.

That’s why I recommend you first read my newly updated FREE guide (incalculable value) titled, “The 10 Essential Things You Need to Get Your Chicago Liquor License.”

To get instant access to it, simply call (847) 777-9410 or send a quick email to liquorlicenseinc@gmail[DOT]com

That’s it. And my assistant will send you my guide as a PDF attachment.

By the way, if you’d like to know the City’s application cost for other types of liquor licenses you can get—just call (847) 777-9410.

Q. How Long Does It Take to Get a Chicago Liquor License?

A. It takes approximately 90-days to get your Chicago liquor license. That assumes you provide the required documents I’ll need to complete your liquor license application in a timely manner.

Q. What Other Licenses Do I Need or Can Get for My Business?

A. Depending on your business model…

You might need a food license, outdoor patio license, sidewalk café permit, and public place of amusement license (PPA). And, yes, we can help you get these licenses.

Q. How Can I Make More Money From My Business?

A. One way to increase revenues is by getting an “Expanded Establishment” liquor license.

This type of license is required for businesses that already have a Chicago liquor license, but wish to expand the size of their establishment.

By the way, “expansion” refers to any increase in square footage of the area of an establishment where liquor is offered for sale, sold, served or the public consumes it. This does not include the reconfiguration of an existing space.

Here are some examples of an “Expanded Establishment”:

  • Adding a NEW FLOOR to your business premises. You’re currently operating your business on the first floor, but you wish to open up a second floor to patrons.
  • The space next door to you has become available, and you wish to expand your business into the new vacant space.
  • Adding ANOTHER ROOM or putting AN ADDITION on the same floor in the business you’re already operating. For example, you have a back room that you always used for storage, and now you wish to use it to increase your dining area.

Q. Why Should I Hire an Experienced Liquor License Attorney to Get My License Versus Working With City Hall Employees?

A. There are many reasons why it’s in your best interests to hire an experienced liquor license attorney.

For starters, when you want to meet with city employees, you must come in the correct way.

See, you can’t just come off the street and meet with a Chicago department of business affairs’ employee.

That’s because you must have a business entity already formed before you go see them. 

And that’s not all.

You’ll need to know if any RESTRICTIONS exist against the class of liquor license you want. 

This, of course, means you must first have a BUSINESS ADDRESS in mind so we can determine possible restrictions.

For example, you’ll need to know what the correct ZONING is for the class of liquor license you want at your address.

 In addition, you’ll need to know if there is a church, hospital, day care center, school, home for the aged and indigent, or library within 100-feet of your business. If one of these institutions is located within 100-feet, is there a loophole that can help you get around it?

Plus, you’ll need to know if there’s a MORATORIUM at your address. And, whether voters living in your precinct have voted the precinct “dry.”

Finally, you’ll need to negotiate the LEASE with your landlord beforehand. And, if you don’t get your liquor license for whatever reason, how do you get out of that lease?

As you can see, you must complete many action-steps BEFORE meeting with city employees.

Now, they might be able to answer some of these questions for you. But know this: They’re working with dozens of liquor license applicants!

This means they simply do not have enough time to answer all of these questions. Critical questions you must have answered at the BEGINNING of the application process for a liquor license.

And then there’s this – what if you have a complex business situation that requires the expertise of a liquor license attorney? For example, your partners need you to draft a detailed shareholder agreement.

The truth is; most city employees do not have the training or experience to handle complex business situations.

For all these reasons…

You’ll want to hire an experienced liquor license attorney to help you get your LOCAL and STATE liquor licenses.

Otherwise, you risk making costly mistakes. And, causing lengthy time delays before you get approved for your licenses.

That’s why the Liquor License Attorney Francis Ostian is your one-stop resource for getting your Chicago and Illinois liquor licenses fast, and with minimal headaches.

In fact, why not call my firm now, the minute you finish reading this?

Simply call (847) 777-9410 to schedule a consultation at my office.

Do it now, while it’s fresh on your mind.

Q. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have in Getting Liquor Licenses for Clients?

A. Since 2001, I’ve specialized in getting liquor licenses in Chicago and throughout Illinois for:

  • Large restaurant groups…
  • Restaurants…
  • Nightclubs…
  • Bars…
  • Taverns…
  • Banquet halls…
  • Hotels…
  • Grocery and Liquor stores…
  • Catering Companies, and…
  • Breweries…

Plus, other classes of liquor licenses like Public Place of Amusement (PPA), Late Hour or Outdoor Patio licenses just to name a few.

In addition, I’ve helped clients navigate the legal and political challenges that typically come up when applying for a liquor license.

In fact, my team of experts lobbied to get a law passed in Springfield to help a Chicago restaurant get an Outdoor Patio liquor license despite being located within 100-feet of a church.

How was that possible?

Simply put, we convinced the Springfield lawmakers to pass a law allowing my client to get this prohibited liquor license.

Know, too, that when the city attempts to revoke a client’s liquor and other business licenses, I have the expertise to defend your business against an unreasonable closing.

For the record, I’ve saved dozens of restaurants and nightclubs from total shutdown.

No wonder other seasoned attorneys recommend my liquor licensing services to their clients.