To sell beer, wine, or spirits in the state of California, you must apply through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). There are four main types of liquor licenses for restaurants and bars: Type 41, Type 42, Type 47, and Type 48. Type 41s and 42s offer onsite consumption for beer and wine while Type 47s and 48s offer onsite consumption for beer, wine, and spirits as defined in the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. 

These types of license are a few of the many licenses offered for anyone looking to sell alcohol at their business. Each type of license correlates with business operations. Type 41s and Type 47s are incidental to food service and commonly used for full service restaurants. The business must have a kitchen with a three tier sink and all age groups are welcomed to be on premise. For Type 42 and Type 48 licenses, no food service is required and these licenses are commonly used for bars or taverns. Due to the business nature of a Type 42 and Type 48, only 21 and up are allowed on premise.

Pricing for a type 47 or 48 liquor license are based on the county the business is in and fluctuates just as a housing market would. The main reason why types 47s and 48s vary in pricing is due to county census tracking. The ABC only issued these licenses based on the amount of people who live in that particular county. These types of licenses are usually bought through a private party selling their license. Since a liquor license is considered property in California, escrow is required by ABC to approve the transfer of ownership. Costs associated with a purchase of a type 47 or 48 are escrow fees, broker fees, and ABC Fees. 

ABC still issues brand new type 41 and 42 licenses, which means the business owner can contact their local ABC district office for a list of requirements and paperwork needed in order to start the process. The cost is around $700 plus Live Scan finger printing fees of $63 for every owner and spouses. Spouses need to be fingerprinting even if they are not part of the business or going on the license for many reasons. The main reason is that the license is considered property in the state and if anything were to happen to the person on the license, the spouse needs to be also qualified to hold the license and sign off to anyone taking over the license or business. 

For a full list of ABC District Office go to