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Glover Law is a boutique law firm that helps businesses and individuals navigate complex corporate and government affairs matters. The firm works with members of the hospitality industry on issues relating to state licenses, alcohol beverage sales, and potential franchise agreements.

Spotlight: Special Hotel and Motel Liquor Licenses


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 the "Special Hotel/Motel" licenses issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

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 application process.


What is a Special Motel/Hotel license?

Business owners who wish to offer a full bar must first obtain a liquor license. Fortunately, state law reserves a series of special licenses for hotel and motel operators.

How do I qualify?

There are three ways to qualify for a special liquor license reserved for hotels and motels in Florida.

  1. S License: The applicant must have 80 guest rooms or more in a county of less than 50,00 residents or 100 guest rooms or more in a county of greater than 50,000 residents in order to qualify for a special motel/ hotel license.

  2. SH License (Historic): The applicant must be located in a historic structure that has fewer than 100 guest rooms.

  3. SHQM License (Historic in Certain Jurisdictions): The applicant must be a bona-fide hotel or motel located in a historic structure with at least 10 and no more than 25 guest rooms in certain municipalities. At least 60% of gross revenue must come from room rentals, food, and non-alcoholic beverages. The qualifying municipalities are Cooper City, Hallandale, Homestead, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Ormond Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Plant City, Riviera Beach, Wellington, Winter Haven, and Winter Springs.

Of course, all licensees must meet the state's moral character requirements.

How much does it cost?

In most counties, this license type is cost $1820 a year.

What else do I need to know?

Please note that these license types cannot be moved to a new location. These licenses allow sales for consumption on or off the premises, except that the SHQM license is limited to sales by the drink for consumption on premises. Any such license issued for any hotel or motel shall only be issued to the owner of the hotel or motel and must remain in the  name of the owner or lessee as long as the license is in existence.

Special thanks to Tawanna Franklin and Jada Roulhac for their work on this piece. Please note that this page is made available by the law firm for educational purposes only, and that it is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Visiting this page does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm.