Mass ABCC Update Process to Speed up Liquor License Transfers

Mass ABCC to speed up liquor license transfer processThe Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has adopted a new process, effective May 28th, 2013, to speed up the approval process for retail liquor license applications.  Under the Mass. Liquor Control Act, retail liquor licenses cover three categories:  On-Premise (a pouring license, Off-Premise (a package store license), and Special (a one-day license).

One of the requirements per state law for the ABCC to consider a retail liquor license application is that the applicant has complied with all of Massachusetts tax laws per the Department of Revenue and the Department of Unemployment Assistance.  This compliance comes in the form of a tax release issued to the ABCC from the  Department of Revenue, a process that in the past typically took 4-6 weeks, but sometimes took up to six months due to a variety of issues including the liquor license seller’s and applicant’s inattention, incorrect information, failure to make the required tax filings and/or tax payments.

The ABCC has come up with a solution to modernize and speed up the process so prospective businesses/liquor license applicants do not face any delays.  An ABCC release on May 22nd explains how the new process works.

Effective May 28, 2013, applicants for an alcoholic beverages license will simply submit a DOR Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) with their application to the local licensing authorities.  The COGS should then be included in the application forms forwarded to the ABCC by the local licensing authorities.  Any applicant can obtain a COGS using the DOR website www.mass.gov/dor by following the  links to the DOR’s online Certificate of Good Standing.  The COGS will serve as the DOR release.    

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