The Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
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On-Premises License - M.G.L. c. 138, §12

An on-premises alcoholic beverages license, commonly referred to as a "pouring" license, allows its holder to sell alcoholic beverages at retail to consumers. The beverages must be consumed on the premises, in the areas approved by the local licensing authorities and the ABCC. There are 5 categories of on-premises licenses, distinguished by the kind of alcoholic beverages that can be sold: all alcoholic beverages, wine and malt beverages only, wine & malt beverages with cordials/liqueurs, wine only, and malt beverages only.

There are 6 types of on-premises licenses. Below is a general description of each type of on-premises alcoholic beverages license, however, each of these terms has a specialized meaning defined in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 138.

1. Restaurant. The space in a suitable building provided with adequate and sanitary kitchen and dining room equipment and capacity for preparing, cooking and serving suitable food for strangers, travelers, other patrons and customers, and in addition meeting and complying with all the requirements imposed upon common victualers under M.G.L. c. 140.

2. Hotel. A building or part of a building provided with adequate and sanitary kitchen and dining room equipment and capacity for preparing, cooking and serving suitable food for its guests, including travelers, strangers, other patrons and customers. It must also meet and comply with all the requirements imposed upon innholders under M.G.L. c. 140.

3. Club. A corporation chartered for any purpose described in M.G.L. c. 180, §2, that owns, hires, or leases a building, or space in a building, of such extent and character as may be suitable and adequate for the reasonable and comfortable use and accommodation of its members.

4. War Veterans Club. Any corporation the members of which are war veterans and which owns, hires or leases in such city or town a building, or space in a building, for the use and accommodation of a post of any war veterans' organization incorporated by the Congress of the United States.

5. General-On-Premises. A license that allows the sale of alcoholic beverages without food to patrons and customers subject to all other relevant provisions of this chapter.

6. Tavern. An establishment where alcoholic beverages may be sold (but not on Sunday), with or without food, to be served to and drunk by patrons in plain view of other patrons, all entrances to which shall open directly from a public way. The establishment shall be properly lighted and its business conducted to the public view from the sidewalk level.


Fire Safety Certifications

  • New License - Every applicant for a new M.G.L. c. 138, §12 license must submit a valid certificate of inspection issued by the building inspector and the head of the fire department for the city, town or district in which the premises is located, or the license cannot be issued.

New License Transaction Forms

For ease of reference, we have bundled the required forms by transaction type. For example if you are applying for a new license click on retail application and all the necessary forms that must be completed for a new license will be provided.

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FIRE SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS

  • Annual License Renewals - All licensees under M.G.L. c. 138, §12 (including restaurants, hotels, taverns, clubs, war veterans clubs or general on premises type of licenses) must submit a valid certificate of inspection issued by the building inspector and the head of the fire department for the city, town or district in which the premises is located, or the license will not be renewed. The local licensing authority IS REQUIRED to forward to the ABCC for EACH LICENSEE an attestation on the renewal application that the authority is in possession of the required fire safety certificate.

License Transactions Forms:

For ease of reference, we have bundled the required forms by transaction type below. For example if you are applying for a Change of Location click on "Change of Location Forms" link and all the necessary forms that must be completed for a new license will be provided.

If you are an existing licensee applying for multiple transactions, that is, more than 1 change to a license that requires approval, please view the retail transaction checklist. This checklist provides a list of the necessary forms by transaction type. For example, if you are applying to transfer stock of a corporation, change the directors and officers, and pledge your license, in one application, view the retail transaction checklist, which will provide information about which forms must be completed.

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Contact Licensing Division Contact Information
(617)-727-3040

Ryan Melville
Supervisor of Licensing
Ext 718 - rmelville@tre.state.ma.us
Deron Egbuche
Ext 723 - degbuche@tre.state.ma.us
Hurshel Langham
Ext 719 - hlangham@tre.state.ma.us
Sabrina Luc
Ext 721 - sluc@tre.state.ma.us
Ivy Maiorino
Ext 749 - ivymaiorino@tre.state.ma.us


 

Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission