Lessons from the State Liquor Authority (SLA)

The new Liquor Authority administration has started strong. There are 5 lessons licensees, practitioners, and applicants should learn from the recent activity:

  1. Applications are more likely to be disapproved if incomplete or unclear on any issues. The goal to decrease processing time is being achieved by decreasing wasted time on poorly prepared applications.
  2. Applicants with any negative or adverse history need to go the extra mile to assure the Commissioners and Licensing Board that they understand the applicable laws and regulations and have a proactive plan to be compliant and they have an action plan to address the concerns of the SLA, the local community and local municipality.
  3. The SLA is enforcing regulations with increased funding for investigators, multi-agency task forces and quicker response to complaints. Don’t expect to slide under the radar any longer. If you are skirting the rules, it is only a matter of time until you receive a disciplinary action.
  4. Practitioners who are paid to assist licensees will be held to a higher standard than pro se applicants.
  5. If a licensee represents something to the Licensing Board, expect an investigator may follow up to be sure the applicant was genuine and truthful.


             Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.



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