Whether you plan to start a convenience store, grocery store, liquor store, winery, or any other business that sells alcohol in Oklahoma, you will need to obtain the applicable liquor license(s). First and foremost, to take advantage of the growth in the alcohol industry, you will need an Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) license.

There are several types of liquor licenses, and obtaining a liquor license is generally worthwhile. According to Grand View Research, the global alcoholic beverages market size was valued at $1,448.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% from 2022 to 2028. 

According to Statista, the largest market segment is beer, with a market volume of US$111.50 billion in 2022. So, if you’re considering starting a business that sells alcohol, here’s a blog that will help you understand the requirements for how to get a liquor license in Oklahoma.

Types of Oklahoma Liquor Licenses

The State of Oklahoma provides liquor store owners with several types of liquor licenses. It is up to you to determine the type of liquor you intend to sell (beer, wine, spirits, or a combination of all three). Here are some of the most common licenses you will need before running a liquor store:

Employee License: According to Oklahoma Statute Title 37A of the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, an employee license is imperative for any employee selling or serving alcoholic beverages where such beverages are sold, mixed, or served. Servers must be 18 years old to obtain a license to sell beer and wine.  However, they must be 21 years to sell and serve beverages in package stores and mixed beverage establishments.

Retail License: If you run a retail business such as a convenience store, grocery store, or liquor store and you wish to sell alcohol, you will need to apply for a beer and wine retail license or a retail liquor license. You must also provide a Certificate of Incorporation if your retail store is incorporated.

Low-Point Beer License:  The State of Oklahoma issues a low alcohol beer license for the sale of any beverage that contains more than one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) alcohol by volume and no more than three and two-tenths percent (3.2%) alcohol by weight. Verify that your business location is appropriately zoned for selling low-alcohol beer before applying for this license.

Manufacturer’s License: A manufacturer’s liquor license is required for wineries, brewers, and distillers. In addition to the Certificate of Liability Insurance and a basic federal license, a Certificate of Authority, Oklahoma Price Display, and Affidavit of Price Display for non-designated products are also required.

Event Liquor License: A special event license is issued for one year from the date of issuance, and each event may last up to 10 days. There are two types of licenses covering both public events and private events: a quarterly special event license and an annual special event license.

Requirements For a Liquor License in Oklahoma

Oklahoma liquor licenses are issued by the ABLE, located in Oklahoma City. The time frame for issuance of a liquor license by the Oklahoma ABLE Commission is approximately 30 days once the application form is completed and approved. There are a few key steps in the application process to consider if you are licensed:

Filling out the general application immigration affidavit

After identifying the type of license you need, fill out the general application form. The supporting documents required will depend on the type of license. But no matter what type of license you want, a sales tax permit issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) is usually required. If you plan to sell mixed drinks, you may also need a mixed drink tax permit. Other tax permits may also be required, depending on your county.

Obtain a certificate of compliance

For any license application in Oklahoma, a Certificate of Compliance is required. This document determines your compliance with Oklahoma City zoning, fire, safety, and health codes. Supporting documents include a copy of your lease agreement (unless you own the property), site plans, floor plans, and notice of intent. There are several reasons why your business’s location is important when obtaining a liquor license.

  • The state will only approve a new license for a business operating in an entirely newly constructed building or a building that has been completed fewer than 60 days prior.
  • The city or county where your business is located must issue a Certificate of Compliance that lists zoning, fire, health, and safety information. Therefore, your location will be publicly listed.

As mentioned above, a lease agreement is required only if a management agreement, deed, or sales agreement cannot be provided.

Pay the appropriate fees

Fees vary depending on the type of alcoholic beverage and the type of business. A complete list can be found here. Liquor licenses are generally more expensive than beer and wine licenses. The initial fee for a beer and wine on-premises license is $500, while the Mixed beverage/caterer combination is $1,250.

A sales tax permit from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is also required if you are considering selling mixed beverages. If you live in a city like Tulsa, you will need a County Beverage Permit in addition to a Sales Tax and Mixed Beverage Permit. Check with your city for more information.

You Might Also Want To Read: What Are Alcohol Control States: The Guide to Liquor Control States Laws

Submit your application to ABLE with a Certificate of Compliance

Once you have completed all the necessary forms and paid the required fees, the final step is to submit your application – online, by mail, or in person. Approval time varies depending on the type of license and whether you have provided all the necessary supporting documentation. For information on obtaining this certificate, click here.

See related: Florida Liquor License Requirements: A Guide For Retailers

How To Protect Your Liquor License?

Getting a liquor license is good. But you must also follow the rules of your license to avoid losing it. To do this, checking IDs is essential to avoid serving minors. Make sure only trained and licensed employees serve alcohol. Other laws may apply to your type of license, such as closing hours. Consult the Oklahoma Beverage Control Act for more information on licensing prohibitions, restrictions, and penalties. Get familiar with the details and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.

Age verification can be facilitated through a point of sale explicitly designed for alcohol retail businesses. For example, KORONA’s POS software offers several ways to request age verification. You can configure the system to ask cashiers to enter a date of birth before processing a transaction or attach ID scanners to your POS and swipe the ID cards for age verification. Age verification prompts are added by product area, so you don’t need to assign age restrictions to individual products manually. All you have to do is ensure they are categorized correctly in your store.

Read also: What Are Alcohol Control States: The Guide to Liquor Control States Laws

Ideal POS systems for liquor stores also include tools for physical inventory, customer and employee management, eCommerce and marketing integrations, and multiple payment processing options. To streamline your liquor business’s management, try KORONA POS for free now to see if it’s right for your business. Click the button above to get started.

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How To Obtain a Liquor License in Oklahoma: FAQs

1. How long does it take to get your Oklahoma liquor license?

Once the application is completed and approved, it takes approximately 30 days to receive a liquor license from the Oklahoma ABLE Commission. Make sure you have chosen the right type of license for your business, then check with your county for more information. 

2. Can I get a one-day liquor license in Oklahoma?

The circumstances under which a special event license is required are as follows:

  • The event is open to the public, and alcohol sales are made
  • An admission fee or donation is required to attend the event, and alcohol is provided
  • There is a cash bar at the event

3. How much does an Oklahoma liquor license cost?

They are usually between $50 and $6,000 for an initial application. However, this fee depends on the type of license you wish to have.

4. What is the Oklahoma ABLE Commission?

The Oklahoma ABLE Commission is a state agency responsible for regulating and enforcing alcoholic beverage laws in the state of Oklahoma.