Liquor License Application Process

IMPORTANT NOTICE
THIS APPLICATION WITH THE CITY OF PHOENIX CANNOT AND WILL NOT GRANT YOU THE RIGHT TO SELL OR DEAL IN SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS WITHIN THE CITY OF PHOENIX.
ONLY THE APPROVAL BY THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF LIQUOR LICENSES AND CONTROL OF YOUR APPLICATION FILED WITH THAT STATE DEPARTMENT WILL AUTHORIZE YOU TO SELL OR DEAL IN SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS WITHIN THE CITY OF PHOENIX.
THE PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL MAY RECOMMEND APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL, OR MAKE NO RECOMMENDATION ON YOUR APPLICATION TO THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF LIQUOR LICENSES AND CONTROL. A RECOMMENDATION OF APPROVAL DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR STATE LIQUOR LICENSE IS GRANTED.
IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL ON YOUR STATE LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION, YOUR LICENSE MAY BE GRANTED OR DENIED BY THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF LIQUOR LICENSES AND CONTROL OR THE STATE LIQUOR BOARD.

 

General Information

  1. Apply at the Arizona Department of Revenue for a State Privilege Tax license, 1600 W. Monroe, Phoenix AZ, (602) 542-4576.
  2. Submit your application for a liquor license to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, 800 W. Washington St., 5th Floor, (602) 542-5141.
  3. The state will send a copy of your liquor application to Phoenix License Services.
  4. Approximately three days after filing your liquor application at the state, Phoenix License Services will contact you about obtaining a City Privilege Tax License and payment of liquor application fees.
  5. Within five days submit your Privilege Tax License application and pay liquor fees to License Services, 200 W. Washington St., 1st Floor. (Do not submit your City Privilege License application prior to this.)
  6. Legal notice is posted at proposed location for at least 20 days. (City inspectors will remove the poster.)
  7. Appropriate city departments will review the application and make a recommendation of approval or disapproval.
  8. The application for liquor license will be placed on a City Council Formal Agenda. Formal meetings of the Phoenix City Council are held on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
  9. When the City Council recommends approval and there are no protests, the director of the State Liquor Department may issue the license after the 15-day waiting (protest) period.

When the city makes no recommendation, recommends disapproval, the application received protests or is not returned within the 60-day time limit, the application will be set for hearing before the State Liquor Board.

Please call us at (602) 262-4638 if you have any questions.

 

Sec. 6-1. Definitions.

Beer -- Any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation, infusion or decoction of barley malt, hops or other such ingredients not drinkable or any combination of them.

Brewer -- Any person who manufactures beer to sell.

Club -- Any of the following organizations where the sale of spirituous liquor for consumption on the premises is made to members only:

  1. A post, chapter, camp or other local unit composed solely of veterans and its duly recognized auxiliary, which is a post, chapter, camp or other local unit composed solely of veterans, which has been chartered by the Congress of the United States for patriotic, fraternal or benevolent purposes, and which has, as the owner, lessee or occupant, operated an establishment for that purpose in the state.
  2. A chapter, aerie, parlor, lodge or other local unit of an American national fraternal organization which has as the owner, lessee or occupant operated an establishment for fraternal purposes in this state. An American national fraternal organization as used in this subdivision shall actively operate in not less than 36 states or have been in active continuous existence for not less than 20 years.
  3. A hall or building association of such a local unit mentioned in subdivision (a) and (b), all of the capital stock of which is owned by the local unit or the members, and which operates the club room facilities of the local unit.
  4. A golf club that has more than 50 bona fide members which owns, maintains or operates a bona fide golf links together with a club house.
  5. A social club with more than 100 bona fide members who are actual residents of the county in which it is located, which owns, maintains or operates club quarters, and which is authorized and incorporated to operate as a nonprofit club under the laws of this state, and has been continuously incorporated and operating for a period of not less than one year. The club shall have had, during such period of one year, a bona fide membership with regular meetings conducted at least once each month, and the membership shall be and shall have been actively engaged in carrying out the objects of the club. The club's membership shall consist of bona fide dues paying members paying at least six dollars per year, payable monthly, quarterly or annually, which have been recorded by the secretary of the club, and the members at the time of application for a club license shall be in good standing having for at least one full year paid dues. At least 51 per cent of the members shall have signified their intention to secure a social club license by personally signing a petition, on a form prescribed by the board, which shall also include the correct mailing address of each signer. The petition shall not have been signed by a member at a date earlier than 30 days prior to the filing of the petition. The club shall qualify for exemption from the payment of state income taxes under provisions of Title 43, it being the intent of this paragraph that a license shall not be granted to a club which is, or has been, primarily formed or activated to obtain a license to sell liquor, but solely to a bona fide club, where the sale of liquor is incidental to the main purposes of the club.
  6. An airline club operated by airlines certificated by the Civil Aeronautics Board that maintain or operate club quarters located at airports with international status.

Distiller -- Any person who manufactures any spirituous liquor to sell, other than beer and wine, as defined in this section.

Off-sale retailer -- Any person operating a bona fide, regularly established retail liquor store selling spirituous liquors, wines and beer and any established retail store selling commodities other than spirituous liquors and engaged in the sale of spirituous liquors only in the original package to taken away from the premises of such retailer and to be consumed off such premises.

On-sale retailer -- Any person operating an establishment where spirituous liquors are sold in the original container for consumption on or off the premises and in individual portions for consumption on the premises.

Sell -- Includes soliciting or receiving any order for keeping or exposing for sale, delivering for value, peddling, keeping with intent to sell and trafficking in.

Spirituous liquor -- Includes alcohol, brandy, whiskey, rum, tequila, mescal, gin, wine, port, ale, beer, any malt liquor, malt beverage, absinthe or compound or mixture of any of them or of any of them with any vegetable or other substance, alcohol bitters, bitters containing alcohol any liquid mixture or preparation, whether patented or otherwise, which produces intoxication, fruits preserved in ardent spirits and beverages containing more than one-half of one per cent of alcohol by volume.

Wine -- The product obtained by the fermentation of grapes or other agricultural products containing natural or added sugar or any such alcoholic beverage fortified with grape brandy and containing not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume.

Winer -- Any person who manufactures wine to sell, as defined in this section.

 

Sec. 6-2. Applicability of state law.

This chapter shall be subject to the provision of A.R.S. Tit 4 (A.R.S. § 4-101 et seq.).

 

STATE LAW (In Part) 

Chapter 2, Regulations and Prohibitions

Article 1. Licenses

4-201. Licensing; application procedure in city, town or county; burden of proof

A. A person desiring a license to manufacture, sell or deal in spirituous liquors shall make application to the director on a form prescribed on a form prescribed and furnished by the director.

B. A person desiring a license within an incorporated city or town shall make the application in triplicate and shall file the copies with the director. The director shall remit two copies to the city or town clerk. The city or town clerk shall immediately file one copy in the clerk's office and post the other for a period of 20 days in a conspicuous place on the front of the premises where the business is proposed to be conducted, with a statement requiring any person who is a bona fide resident residing or owning or leasing property within a one-mile radius from the premises proposed to be licensed, and who is in favor of or opposed to the issuance of the license, to file written arguments in favor of or opposed to issuance of the license with the clerk within twenty days after the date of posting.

No arguments shall be filed or accepted by the city or town clerk thereafter. This subsection shall not be construed to prevent a bona fide resident residing or owning or leasing property within a one-mile radius from the premises proposed to be licensed from testifying in favor of or in opposition to the issuance of the license, regardless of whether or not the person is a user or nonuser of spirituous liquor.

C. The governing body of the city, town or county shall then enter an order recommending approval or disapproval within 60 days after filing of the application and shall file a certified copy of the order with the director. If the recommendation is for disapproval, a statement of the specific reasons containing a summary of the testimony or other evidence supporting the recommendation for disapproval shall be attached to the order. All petitions submitted to the governing body within the 20-day period for filing protests shall be transmitted to the director with the certified copy of the order.

 

Note: "Director" means the director of the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

 

Sec. 6-2.1. Repealed.

 

Sec. 6-3. Requirement and display.

Every person engaging in the sale or offering for sale at retail, within the corporate limits of the city of Phoenix, any spirituous liquors shall obtain a spirituous liquor tax permit for each business location as set forth in this chapter. This tax permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the business premises.

 

Sec. 6-4. Applications and filing.

Applications for a spirituous liquor tax permit, under this Chapter, shall be made on forms approved by and filed with the City Clerk.

 

Sec. 6-5. Applications fees.

The following schedule of nonrefundable application fees is hereby established for liquor licenses:

License Application Fee
Original License $1,625
Location Transfer $1,625
Double Transfer $1,625
Person-to-Person Transfer $1,445
Acquisition of Control $1,445
Continuation of Restaurant License $1,445
Special Events License  
Range of Attendees
 
0-500
$290
501-2,500
$300
2,501-5,000
$310
over 5,000
$450
Privilege License $20
Annual Fee (Prorated Quarterly)
$50

(There is an additional $65.00 late fee for applications filed 30 days or less prior to the event.)

 

Sec. 6-6. Criminal history record information.

The City Clerk and the City Council shall receive criminal history record information from the Phoenix Police Department for the limited purpose of evaluating the fitness of prospective licensees.

 

Sec. 6-7. Taxes.

The following schedule of taxes is hereby established for spirituous liquor tax permits for each business location:

       
Permit Required Annual Permit Tax Quarterly
No. 1 Distiller $960 $240
No. 3 Domestic Microbrewery $960 $240
No. 6 On-Sale Retailer (Spirituous Liquor) $1,440 $360
No. 7 On-Sale Retailer (Wine and Beer) $600 $150
No. 9 Off-Sale Retailer (Spirituous Liquor) $600 $150
No. 10 Off-Sale Retailer (Wine and Beer) $360 $90
No. 11 Hotel-Motel (On-Sale All Spirituous Liquor) $1,440 $360
No. 12 Restaurant (On-Sale All Spirituous Liquor) $1,440 $360
No. 13 Domestic Farm Winery $960 $240
No. 14 Club (On-Sale All Spirituous Liquor) $360 $90
       
Permit Required Daily Permit Tax
Special Event Liquor Permit   $10

 

Sec. 6-8. Disposition of taxes.

All monies collected pursuant to this chapter shall be paid into the General Fund of the city of Phoenix by the City Treasurer.

 

Sec. 6-9. Term of permit; tax payment in advance.

  1. The spirituous liquor tax permit required by this chapter shall be good so long as all tax payments are made as required by this article. Except for special event liquor permits the taxes levied by Sec. 6-7 of this article shall be paid in quarterly installments. Each quarterly installment shall be paid in advance and no later than the first day of each quarter, except that payment of the third quarter 1988 tax shall be made no later than Aug. 1, 1988. The special event liquor permit shall be paid in advance. No refunds will be made for any unused portion of tax liquor permits paid in advance.
  2. There shall be a progressive penalty calculated from the day the tax is due as follows:

    1. Ten percent (10%) for a delinquency of a calendar month or less.
    2. Fifteen percent (15%) for a delinquency of a period exceeding one calendar month up through two calendar months.
    3. Twenty percent (20%) for a delinquency exceeding two calendar months.
  3. The city's tax assessment period shall begin the 1st day of the month in which the business selling alcoholic beverages begins to operate whether such business is conducted pursuant to an interim liquor license issued by the state or pursuant to a permanent liquor license.

NOTE: Liquor taxes are assessed on all liquor tax permits which are in use.

 

Sec. 6-10. Transferability.

Spirituous liquor tax permits shall not be transferable.

 

Sec. 6-11. Issuance.

The City Clerk, upon receipt of payment of the spirituous liquor tax in the appropriate amount, shall issue a spirituous liquor tax permit.

 

Sec. 6-11.1. Business succession and liability.

The provisions of the city of Phoenix Finance Code, Article IV, Chapter 14, relating to business succession and liability, shall be applicable to all application fees, licenses and license fees imposed under this chapter.

 

Sec. 6-12. Compliance with other city laws required.

Issuance of a liquor license by the state of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control shall not exempt the licensee from compliance with any City Ordinance.

 

Sec. 6-13. Right of reasonable inspection.

Any authorized employee of the city of Phoenix shall have the right to enter and inspect the premises of any establishment operating a liquor establishment within the city of Phoenix during business hours to determine compliance with state, city, and county laws or regulations.

 

Sec. 6-14. Special event licenses.

  1. Any person applying for a special event liquor license must make application with the City at least thirty (30) days prior to the special event, provided that for an additional application fee of sixty-five dollars ($65) the application may be filed within thirty (30) days prior to the special event.
  2. The City Council may consider the following factors in determining whether to approve or disapprove a special event liquor license application:

    1. Whether the event will be open to the public.
    2. Criminal history of the applicant.
    3. Nature of the event.
    4. Security measures taken by the applicant.
    5. Type of alcohol that will be sold at the event.
    6. How the alcohol will be served.
    7. Whether, within the last three years, the applicant or the event’s promoter held an event that created a neighborhood disturbance or whether the event site has generated neighborhood disturbance complaints.
    8. Potential for problems in the neighborhood of the proposed event including, but not limited to, noise, traffic, lack of parking, and excessive duration or hours of operation.
    9. Length of the event.
    10. Sanitary facilities available to the participants.
    11. Whether the proposed event is compliant with the Phoenix City Zoning Code and is compatible with the event site’s normal use.
    12. Anticipated number of attendees.
    13. The nature of the sound amplification systems.
  1. C. Except as provided in Subsection D, and no more than twice in any calendar year for each organization authorized to obtain a license pursuant to A.R.S. 4-203.02(B), the City Manager or his designee is authorized to approve or disapprove a special event liquor license application in accordance with the provisions of Subsection B if the application is filed with the City Clerk on a date too close to the date of the special event to permit the application to be considered by the City Council.
  2. D. Only the City Council may approve or disapprove a special event liquor license application for an event at a residential property at which attendance by 500 or more persons is anticipated.

 

Provided as a service of the

City Clerk Department
License Services Section

(7/12)

This publication can be provided in an alternate format by contacting the City Clerk Department, (602) 256-5677/ V; (602) 534-2737/TTY; or (602) 495-5847/FAX.

License Services
200 W. Washington St., 1st Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003-1611
(602) 262-4638