How Much Does a Liquor License Cost?

Liquor license pricing is a lot like buying a home in California. When you buy a home, you look for location, location, and location. Like the housing market, pricing for the liquor license fluctuates during times of a good economy compared to a down economy. When buying a liquor license in California, it’s all about county, county, and county. In California to obtain a liquor license that equates to 58 counties to be exact. Every county has a limited amount of liquor licenses based on population.
Specifically, there are four types of brokered liquor licenses in California. There is California type 20, 21, 47, and 48. Type 20 is considered an off-sale beer and wine liquor license. Prices on type 20s can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars or more, depending on the location. Prices fluctuate based on the number of available licenses in the area, and of course, where the license is located. What can you use the type 20 license for? Type 20s can be used for small corner stores and gas stations.

The next liquor license is the type 21, which is an off-sale license that allows you to sell beer, wine, and spirits. Once again, depending on the location and amount of available licenses in the area, the type 21 price can range from the low thousands to high hundreds of thousands and more. The type 21 is used mostly in the supermarkets and liquor stores.
The type 47 is an on-sale general bona fide public eating place liquor license. The type 47 is used for the full service restaurant that serves beer, wine, and spirits. The type 47 liquor license pricing can range from a few thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, and once again, dependent on the amount of licenses available in the area and the location of the restaurant in the county. In the past, the type 47 licenses have been worth more than $300,000 depending on the county where the restaurant was located!

The last license is a type 48 liquor license used for a public premise that requires the individual to be 21 years of age or older to enter. The type 48 liquor license is usually associated with a bar or tavern, where you can drink on site without eating a meal. Like the type 47, the pricing of the type 48 liquor license can range from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the liquor licenses available in the area and the location of the bar or tavern in the county.