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HOW TO APPLY FOR A LIQUOR LICENSE IN WEST BENGAL?

As each state in India has its own set of liquor laws, rules, and regulations, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the liquor laws prevailing in your state before applying for a liquor license. Since liquor laws of the state are laid down by the State Excise Department, anyone wishing to obtain a liquor license can inquire about the same by:

  • Visiting the website of the State Excise Department,
  • Physically visiting the licensing authority
  • Physically visiting nearby liquor shops.

Once you have a fair idea about the prevailing liquor laws, rules, and regulations of your state, you can decide the type and class of license you need to apply for. The general classes of license include:

  • Beer and Wine License
  • Restaurant Liquor License
  • Tavern Liquor License
  • Brewpub Liquor License

The third thing you need to figure out is the cost of your preferred liquor license as per your state laws

Once you have all the information about the cost and documents required to obtain your preferred liquor license, follow the given steps to apply for a Liquor License in India,

STEP 1: Visit the official website of your State Excise Department and download the application form for your preferred license type. Once downloaded, fill in the application form with all necessary details. Once filled, the form must be submitted to the concerned authority along with the required application fee which varies from state to state. 

While filling out the form, do remember to mention all the required details, including the type of liquor license required, premises where it needs to be served/sold, type of liquor planning to be served/sold, etc. Also, you must make sure to state your background information like age, business experience, criminal record (if any), etc. along with relevant documents.

STEP 2: The documents which are required to be attached along with the application form vary from license to license. However, documents like applicant’s identity proof, residence proof, a valid address and/or premise address proof, incorporation certificate ( in case of business entities), copy of ITR, etc. are universally required.

STEP 3: Once the application form is submitted, the state licensing authority will cross-check and verify the credentials submitted by you and can also call for additional documents required.

STEP 4: Post verification, a notice shall be posted by the concerned state authority on your personal or business address, declaring your name and the license details. The notice so displayed shall be open for any objections raised by the local people, which will be communicated to the concerned department.

STEP 5: In case an objection is raised, you will be given a right to defend yourself. In case, no objections are raised, the authority will review the application and grant you the Liquor License.

VALIDITY AND RENEWAL OF LICENSE

A Liquor License has a validity of 1 year from the date of issue. After expiry, a liquor license can be renewed annually, by filling the renewal application form available on the website of the State Excise Department and paying the relevant renewal fee.

Therefore, if any person wishes to get his /her license renewed, then he/she must apply for the same before thirty days from the date of expiry of the license along with the payment of a renewal fee which is fixed by the State Excise Department depending upon the type and/or class of the license. There can also be a reduction in the renewal fee, based upon the conduct and goodwill of the applicant.

REVOCATION OF THE LIQUOR LICENSE

A Liquor License will be liable for revocation if any one of the following acts is committed by the applicant:

  1. Serving of Liquor on Dry Days
  2. Serving of Liquors to Minors
  3. Violations of the rules and laws laid down by the state excise department

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR OBTAINING A LIQUOR LICENSE

Each state has its own prescribed set of documents that are required for obtaining a liquor license. However, there are certain documents that are needed in general for obtaining a Liquor License. These are:

  1. Identity Proof of the Applicant
  2. Address proof of the applicant
  3. Address proof of the premise used for serving/selling/storing/manufacturing of alcohol
  4. NOC from the state fire department and municipal corporation
  5. Application with personal and business details of the applicant
  6. MOA and AOA copy in case of companies
  7. Latest ITR copy
  8. Applicant’s photograph
  9. An affidavit declaring that there are no past criminal records in the name of the applicant
  10. An affidavit declaring that there are no pending dues in the name of the applicant.

GUIDES BY THE EXCISE DEPARTMENT

To provide safe and quality liquor to the consumers, and to promote responsible drinking in India, the state excise departments’ issues various guidelines from time to time. These guidelines are aimed at raising awareness and ensuring a safe drinking environment. State Excise guidelines include:

  1. Buying liquor from State authorized liquor shops.
  2. Granting of the license to a valid and honest taxpayer.
  3. The use of liquor bought from army canteens must be restricted for personal use.
  4. Individuals traveling from one state to another must cater to the possession limit for alcohol in each state.
  5. Do not buy liquor, if you are below the legal drinking age.
  6. Do not service/sell any kind of liquor in an unlicensed premise.
  7. Every license holder should display a board showing the price of each brand of liquor in case of a liquor shop, menu rate list in case of a restaurant, bar, hotel or disco.

West Bengal Liquor License

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR LIQUOR LICENSE

To apply for a Liquor license in the state of West Bengal, the applicant needs to satisfy the following conditions:

  • The individual should be age twenty-one years or above and should be an India citizen or a Person of Indian Origin (in case of individuals the application can be made by a single individual or multiple individuals jointly).
  • firm which is regulated by the Indian Partnership Act, 1932.
  • A company which is regulated by the Companies Act, 1956.
  • society which is registered under the West Bengal Co-operative Act, 1983 or the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961.

The following are some of the conditions by which an individual is not eligible for applying for the Liquor license in the State of West Bengal.

  • A person who has been convicted by a criminal court of a non-bailable offence.
  • An existing license holding person who has violated the terms and conditions of his license.
  • A person who was a defaulter in the payment of excise revenue to the State Government.
  • A person who is interested, either directly or indirectly, in the manufacture or sale of any intoxicant in foreign territory or any bordering State of West Bengal.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR SITE PLAN

The site plan for categories mentioned above like Restaurant-cum-Bar, Hotel-cum-Restaurant-cum-Bar, Hotel-cum-Bar should contain the layout of the site, main entrance, seating arrangements, restrooms, bar counters, foreign liquor store or go down, kitchen etc. Also the same should be duly signed by the applicant and the landlord or owner of the premises.

CATEGORIES OF LICENSE

Any eligible person can obtain a Liquor license based on the following categories. They are:

Temporary License

The following types of temporary license that are valid only for six months.

·        Restaurant-cum-Bar

This license issued for the retail sale of foreign liquor for consumption on the premises of any restaurant and    attached bar.

·        Hotel-cum-Restaurant-cum-Bar

This license issued for the retail sale of foreign liquor for consumption on the premises of any hotel and restaurant and attached bar.

·        Hotel-cum-Bar

This license issued for the retail sale of foreign liquor for consumption on the premises of any hotel and attached bar.

Note: While applying for the above categories of temporary licenses the applicant can request for additional bar licenses. In such cases, all additional bars must be clearly explained in the Site Plan that has to be submitted at the time of application.

Regular License

The following listed categories can make application for the regular licenses.

  1. License for the retail sale of beer, wine and low alcoholic beverage (LAB) for consumption off the premises from existing Departmental Stores with a minimum floor area of one thousand and five hundred square feet, having departments for the retail sale of various commodities.
  2. License for the retail sale of foreign liquor for consumption on the premises of theatre, club, canteen, Dak-bungalow, Railway refreshment room, dining car, steamer, customs airport or any place of public resort and entertainment and attached bar.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT GETTING A WINE SHOP LICENSE IN INDIA

Since the production, sale and consumption of liquor are issues that fall into the state list according to the seventh schedule, each state has unique liquor laws.

Since liquor distribution and consumption laws differ between states, the legal drinking age also varies depending on the location.

Recently, the Delhi Excise Department asked the government to lower the legal age from 25 to 21 for the consumption of beer and wine. However, the limit will remain at 25 for the consumption of hard liquor.

While law dictates that individuals need a license from a Government Civil Hospital to drink in Maharashtra, this is not enforced. Furthermore, the State legislature gives district governments the power to ban alcohol entirely. As a result, Chandrapur, Wardha and Gadchiroli have a ban on the sale and production of alcohol.

B. Pramanik & Associates can help you to setup Liquor Shop and get Liquor License from the Government.

For more information contact with Mr. Pramanik – +91 6291316573 or Mail us: info@bpramanikassociates.com

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