Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

Congratulations on your decision to begin the application process for a retail alcoholic beverages license. You can find information below about the application process, or you can go directly to our e-portal site.

Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission

The Details of Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

What you need for Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

You will need the following forms and documents to complete your retail license application online:

  • CORI Authorization Form. Complete one for each individual with a beneficial interest in the entity that is applying AND one for the proposed manager of record. This form must be notarized with a stamp or raised seal. Officers/Directors of non-profit clubs with no ownership do not need to fill out CORI applications.
  • Vote of the Corporate Board. Include a vote to apply for a new/transfer of license AND a vote appointing the manager of record, signed by an authorized signatory for the entity.
  • Proof of Citizenship for the proposed Manager of Record. 
  • Business Structure Documents
    • If corporation or LLC, Articles of Organization from the Secretary of the Commonwealth
    • If partnership, Partnership Agreement
    • If Sole Proprietor, Business Certificate
  • Purchase & Sale Agreement, which is only required for a transfer of license.
  • Supporting financial records for all financing and or loans, including pledge documents, if applicable.
  • Legal Right to Occupy, such as a lease or deed.
  • Floor Plan, which is only required for a new license.
  • Abutter's Notification, which is only required for a new license.
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How to apply Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

  1. Click here to apply for a new Retail License / Pouring Permit or to transfer an existing Retail License / Pouring Permit.
  2. Create an account if you have not already done so
  3. Continue to apply for your license online by filling out your application

Next steps for Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

  1. LLA Hearings

    When an application is filed with the Local Licensing Authority (LLA), the LLA holds a hearing and issues either a decision of Approval or Disapproval, along with a Statement of Reasons.

    If the LLA disapproves, the aggrieved party may appeal to ABCC within 5 business days of receipt of the decision.

    After the ABCC receives the appeal, a hearing is conducted and decision is reached.

  2. ABCC Approval or Disapproval

    If the ABCC approves the LLA denial of license application, applicant may appeal ABCC decision to Superior Court within 30 days.

    If the ABCC disapproves of the action of the LLA to deny a license, the ABCC remands to the LLA recommending further action.

    The LLA must take the action recommended within 5 days of receipt of the ABCC decision. The LLA then acts and decides to either affirm their original decision of denial or accept and implement the recommendtion of the ABCC and grant a license.

    If the LLA upholds decision to deny the license and the applicant is:

    • renewing their license:

      • Applicant may reappeal to ABCC within five days.
      • Applicant may file suit against their LLA (MGL c. 249 $ 4).

    • requesting a new license or change of location:

      • Applicant may file suit against their LLA (MGL c. 249 $ 4)

      • Applicant may NOT reappeal to the ABCC.

  3. Final license application approval

    If the application is approved by the LLA, it is forwarded to the ABCC and received by ABCC through a lockbox no later than 3 days after LLA approval.

    Once received, the ABCC notifies the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and assigns an investigator for recommendation. The DUA may issue a release, further moving the application forward. If the DUA recommends disapproval of an application, the application will be disapproved on that basis alone and returned to the LLA.

    The investigator will investigate the proposed licensed premises, you as an applicant, and the source(s) of financing for the transaction. You must respond promptly to an investigator's inquiries. Failure to do so will result in a delay of the approval and may result in a denial of your application.

    If the DUA “releases” the application and the investigator approves the application, the Executive Director reviews the application for recommendation of approval. Once the Executive Director approves, the application is sent to the Commission members for approval.

    The LLA must issue the license within 7 days of receipt of approval from the ABCC.

  4. License application denials

    If the application is denied with Statement of Reason by LLA, the applicant may or may not appeal to ABCC. See Violations and Appeals for more information.

Downloads for Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

Contact for Apply for an Alcoholic Beverages Retail License Online

95 Fourth Street, Suite 3 , Chelsea, MA 02150-2358
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