Spotlight: Liquor Licensing for Catered Events
The Spotlight series is intended to provide helpful information about important business and professional licenses issued by the State of Florida. This installation is on what Florida licenses are needed to serve alcohol at catered events.
Glover Law works with applicants for liquor licenses and many other licenses and permits issued by the Department of Business and Profession Regulation. Contact us for more information on the process.
What license do I need to sell alcohol at an event?
It depends on what license you currently operate under. If you hold a quota license, you may serve or sell alcoholic beverages for consumption at catered events where food is being provided by a caterer licensed by the Division of Hotel and Restaurants (H&R).
What if I don’t hold a quota license?
If you do not hold a quota license, there are a few more licensing and administrative hurdles. A 13CT license from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco will allow a licensee to sell alcohol by the drink for consumption on the premises of any catered event at which the licensee is also providing prepared food. However, at least 51% of the gross revenue from each event must come from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages.
The food requirement means that you would also need to be licensed by H&R. Fortunately, if your business is already licensed as a public food service establishment, you do not need a separate catering license from H&R.
What are the required qualifications for a 13CT license?
The caterer must be licensed by H&R under chapter 509 of the Florida Statutes. The licensee must derive at least 51% gross revenue from sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Licensees must purchase alcoholic beverages through a licensed vendor. Licensees may not store alcoholic beverages to be sold or served at a catered event. Any alcoholic beverages not used at the event must remain with the customer or be returned to the vendor for credit.
Pursuant to section 561.20(2)(a)(5) of the Florida Statutes, licensees must maintain for a period of 3 years all records and receipts for each catered event, including all contracts, customers’ names, event locations, event dates, food purchases and sales, and any other records required by the department by rule to demonstrate compliance with the relevant statute.
Can I use the alcohol from my bar for the event?
Quota licensees can use alcohol from their regular inventory. 13CT licensees must purchase the alcoholic beverages used at the event from a licensed vendor instead of their current distributor.
Additionally, a 13CT licensee may not store alcoholic beverages acquired for a catered event.