An official permit is necessary to sell alcoholic beverages hence required liquor license in Mumbai. States don’t allow anyone to sell liquor without licenses. That is the reason why restaurants and businesses in liquor require applying for a liquor license. Purchasing, transporting, possessing, and consuming liquor without a valid permit is an offense punishable under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. In Mumbai, the excise department issues liquor license in Mumbai for buying and selling of liquor.
The licenses can be broadly classified.
Liquor is a non-toxic liquid that contains Ethyl Alcohol. It is produced by distillation of grains, vegetables, or fruits that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. All liquids containing alcohol are called as liquor. There are mainly two types of liquor produced for consumption in India.
- Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) – This term is used to determine western-style hard liquors such as whiskey, wine, rum, vodka, etc., which are manufactured in India.
- Country Made Liquor – These are indigenous type recipes such as fenny, toddy, etc.
Two types of Liquor License in Mumbai
- Wholesale Liquor License – It means a person is holding a license under the rules to sell duty paid country liquor by wholesale.
- Retail Liquor License – It means a person is holding a license under the Maharashtra Country Liquor Rules, 1973, in order to sell country liquor by retail owners.
Types of Liquor license in Mumbai
Determining whether one requires a license or an off license
- The person will need a license to sell and consumption of the liquor on the premises—this liquor license required by bars, restaurants, etc.
- One requires an off license if it is not intended to consume the alcohol at the place of selling it. This liquor license required by liquor stores, grocery stores, and drug stores.
- If one intends to open a pub or restaurant for serving alcohol, it is important to have liquor license as early as possible.
- To get permission for a liquor license, it takes time in some areas as long as a year. Therefore, this should be one of the first considerations when planning for a new business venture.
- The application will contain details about the business and personal background.
- Details of your age, your work experience, and a clean personal record may impact the state’s decision to grant a license.
- The important documents along with an application are submitted, which includes a certificate of incorporation, a partnership contract, your company’s constitution, a copy of your suggest food menu, photos or drawings of the exterior of the property and a floor plan of the interior, a code compliance authorization, a copy of the title certificate for the premises.
- Renew of the liquor license required annually. One must renew the liquor license on an annual basis, which means you have to pay a renewal fee.
- Be aware that your license can be invalidate. Understand that your license may be revoked if you disobey your local agency’s terms of service. General offenses include the sale of alcohol to a minor.
Conditions for which Authority grants Liquor License
Section 34 – Vendor’s license
According to rules, the government can, by written order, gives official permission to grant a vendor license regarding the sale for foreign liquor. An entrepreneurial license is granted after the following conditions:
- The stock or collection of foreign liquor from the licensee (except for disposal at the store) can be held by him at 12 godowns approved by the government.
- The license holder has to pay all leases, costs, and expenses related to warehouses and surveillance.
Section 35 – Hotel license
The government, according to rules, can make an order in writing, and authorize an officer to grant licenses to the license holders of hotels in order to sell foreign liquor to people permitted under this Act. It is provided that the government must satisfied that such a hotel usually has a sufficient number of staff members eligible to hold the permits. Such licenses are issued after the following conditions:
- Liquor must be sold to the permit holders living or boarding at a hotel.
- Consumption of liquor sales shall not be allowed in any of the personal rooms of the hotel for which any other member of the public has access.
- The hotel liquor license holders must pay the expenses of any officer of the excise department if any required for the grant and control of permits on the premises or regarding the supervision of the issue or the consumption of foreign liquor in the hotel.
- The procedure to obtain wholesale license for selling liquor is mentioned in Part-III of Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949.
- Anyone who wants to obtain the wholesale license has to make an application to the Commissioner through the superintendent of the district for the area in which he desires to establish a warehouse for storing the country liquor.
- Then superintendent will further verify the particulars given thereof and satisfy himself that the building and rooms of the warehouse are for the purpose of sale of liquor conform to the requirements of Rule 15.
- The requirements of warehouse premises are also prescribed in the Act.
Read our article: Tobacco License in India – Brief Overview
Renewal of Bar and Shop License
In Mumbai City Restaurants, having Grade 1 has the facility of obtaining the Bar License i.e., Permit Room License for “ON- Consumption.” However, the FL II licenses are given to the shops to sale sealed Bottles for “OFF- Consumption.” The validity of these licenses lasts up to one year.
Under what Rule the license is issued?
The liquor license in Mumbai is issued under Rule 24, 44, 47 of Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules 1953 and for Beer Bars under Special Permit Rules 1952.
Procedure for Renewal for Liquor License in Mumbai
Any person who desires to renew a license must apply thirty days before the date of the expiry of liquor license. Every application must be accompanied by a challan and evidence of payment of application fee, which is Rs.25/-. The renewal fees are fixed by the State Government from time to time.
Documents need to be submitted along with the application.
- The licensee who desires to renew the license must apply in the prescribed form along with Rs.1/- Court fee stamp.
- Application fee of Rs.25/- in challan
- License fee challan as fixed by the State Government from time to time
- Income tax/Sales Tax clearance certificate or affidavit.
- Partnership Deed copy or Declaration for no change in the Partnership or status of the institution
- Documents regarding Ownership/Tenancy of the premises
- License copy in Original
License for purchasing, transporting and consuming liquor
- The person in Maharashtra, it requires to buy alcohol; he must have to attain the age of majority (i.e., above 18 years) as per Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. Section-18 of the Act, he cannot consume the alcohol because the consumption age in Maharashtra is of 25 years (as per Bombay Prohibition Act 1949- Part VI-A Rule 70D).
- Sometimes such law becomes difficult to enforce as there are very limited ways to ensure that the person is above the age of 25 years.
- Even if the person is caught for consumption of alcohol, then he cannot be punished in case he is above 18.
- If an individual wanted to buy alcohol, he first requires getting a license from the state government.
- He also requires showing that license to the vendor before making a valid purchase.
- A person is only allowed to have 12 units of alcohol at a time.
Cost of obtaining liquor license
- The temporary club license or party permit fees for bigger parties (more than 100 people) are Rs 15,000. In case for smaller parties (below 100 people) is Rs 10,000.
- For temporary club licenses for liquor parties in smaller towns, such as Navi Mumbai, where the population is below 20 lakh, the mandatory license will cost Rs 10,000 for above 100 members and Rs 7,000 for below 100 members.
- As per excise department rules, the FL-4 license is required to host the private liquor party in a flat or at a resort that costs Rs 13,000 across cities in the state.
- Consumers must have this license even if they are drinking with friends in an apartment or a house party. The person can be punished for illegal possession of liquor if he does not have valid permission to host the party.
- In case only if few friends are together, the consumer must at least have a daily drinking permit.
- License fee for the permit rooms is Rs. 544,000 and that for the beer shops is Rs. 150,000.
Online liquor license process
- The state excise department has an online portal, which is ‘excise.maharashtra.gov.in,’ to grant liquor license for consumption.
- The permit could be obtained by simply registered by your Aadhar Card number on the website.
- A digital permit will be granted within few minutes of the application made. The applicants have an option to check the application status even online.
- Those applying for liquor permits must have the age of 25 years and above.
- A one-day drinking permit for foreign liquor costs Rs 5, country liquor costs Rs 2 whereas an annual permit costs Rs 100, and a lifetime permit costs Rs 1,000. One can apply for only one permit in a day.
- Previously, applicants required to go to the excise office to submit documents and pay fees for getting the drinking permits, whereas now the online grant of permit is more easy and time-saving.
Places prohibited for Liquor shops.
- The Supreme Court in December 2017 had banned the sale of liquor within 500 meters of state and national highways across the nation, but this order does not prohibit licensed establishments within municipal areas.
- No liquor shops must be established in municipal corporations and municipalities within a distance of 50 meters from an existing place of worship or educational institutions. The minimum distance of 100 meters has to be maintained between such places in all other local bodies.
- No liquor shop must be established within 100 meters of the hospital.
Penalty for not having Liquor License
A Liquor License is Mumbai granted by the Mumbai excise department to those who wish to sell and distribute alcohol and alcoholic beverages. Every state government keeps a stringent check on the sale and consumption of alcohol sold within its territory. According to the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, it is mandatory to have a liquor license for selling and consuming alcohol.
Read our article: Procedure for Obtaining Liquor License in India