A Boutique Law Firm Serving Northern Kentucky and Ohio

Spirits Laws

Northern Kentucky Spirits Law Attorneys

Our Owner is Nationally at the Forefront of Liquor Law

Ventures like starting a restaurant, bar, distillery, or any other enterprise that will use liquor as a part of its operations is an exciting opportunity. It is also one filled with legal paperwork that includes licensing requirements. The process can be a time-consuming one. A lawyer can be a valuable asset, saving a business owner time. 

Smith Law serves clients on both sides of the river, which means we have experience and knowledge of liquor law and processes in both Kentucky and Ohio. 

Smith Law loves to work with business owners from all walks of life, and our doors are open to everyone. Call (859) 710-9001 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

The Liquor License Process

The state of Kentucky has only done piecemeal updates of liquor laws since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. This means laws can range from the outdated to the convoluted to the simply complicated. In fact, there are currently 84 different liquor licenses issued by the state government. 

These licenses cover everything from selling to manufacturing to distributing, so it’s unlikely a new business will need all of them, but it’s highly probable they will need multiple licenses. 

Furthermore, approval will have to come from multiple jurisdictions. An application must be made at the state level to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic & Beverage Control (ABC). ABC will notify the local municipality where the license is needed. Each city and town have their own ordinances. A newspaper notice of the license request must be published, and local residents will have a chance to voice objections. 

It’s not uncommon for institutions, from churches to schools, to object to liquor licenses being issued in their surrounding area and to organize opposition. An attorney, experienced in this process  can work with business owners to deal with any potential objections. 

The state of Ohio isn’t quite as complex as Kentucky, which means that there are “only” 30 different possible licenses a business might need, as opposed to 84. That’s still quite a bit of legal legwork. Even after applying with the Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control in Columbus, business owners will still need to navigate local ordinances and potential opposition. 

Our community benefits when entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds have every chance to succeed. That’s what we’re committed to at Smith Law. Call us at (859) 710-9001 or fill out our online contact form to get help with your liquor licensing needs.

Maintaining & Defending a License

Once obtained, the liquor licenses must be continually renewed. If a business expands its offerings of alcohol, that might necessitate an additional license. The opening of new locations will certainly call for going through the same licensing process again. 

What’s more, violations of the law can place a liquor license at risk. Was an underage person served at the establishment? Even if everyone drinking has the legal right to do so, establishments still have the responsibility to maintain public order. Repeated violations can place a license at risk of being revoked. Smith Law will be there to defend clients if their license is under attack. 

  • “Shannon Smith and her dynamic team have repeatedly translated my work into victories.” - Paul M. | Chief Goof Officer, Bircus Brewing Company / Circus Mojo
  • “They go above and beyond by responding timely and meeting our demanding timelines.” - Robert R. | President, QC Infusion
  • “She accomplished the impossible for me and gave me my future back.” - Giovanni L.

    Take the Next Step Forward

    Contact Us Today to Get Started With A Consultation

    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • Please enter your phone number.
      This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.
    Smith Law Smith Law