News  ABCC and DOR Streamline Alcohol Licensing Procedure

Collaboration will Simplify Process for Thousands of Small Businesses
  • Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Ann C. Dufresne

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) today announced  a streamlined process through which businesses can apply for licenses to serve and sell alcohol.

State law requires proof that individuals applying for alcoholic beverages licenses have complied with all tax laws.  As part of the application process, which is first submitted to the local governing board, historically, ABCC would seek a release from DOR stating that both the buyer and seller of a license had no outstanding tax issues. Oftentimes, that process was put on hold and delayed if either applicant provided incomplete information or had outstanding tax liabilities to resolve.  ABCC and DOR agreed to simplify the process by giving applicants the opportunity to seek a DOR Certificate of Standing through the DOR website at The certificate can be generated in two days if applicants are in compliance and includes a feature to quickly resolve and pay any outstanding tax liabilities.

“Removing barriers that impede small businesses is one of my top priorities as Treasurer, and I’m delighted that we were able to work with our partners at the Department of Revenue to streamline the application process,” said Treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the ABCC.  “By finding a commonsense solution to a process where paperwork delays were the rule rather than the exception, we’re helping entrepreneur’s better focus on the success and prosperity of their businesses.”

“This is another example of a new era in state government and the delivery of good customer service,” said Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter.  “By working together and employing innovative technology, we turned an outdated process that created too many backlogs into an efficient and expedited service.”   

Effective May 28th, 2013, the ABCC began  accepting a DOR Certificate of Good Standing in lieu of the release  a  new licensing process that ABCC and DOR both said will not only make things easier for Massachusetts businesses, but also enhance overall governmental efficiency.

  • Massachusetts Department of Revenue  

    The Massachusetts Department of Revenue manages state taxes and child support. We also help cities and towns manage their finances.
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