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An Overview of the Liquor Licensing Process

If your business deals with the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol in Oregon, you need a liquor license. This information is designed to give you a general overview of the process to obtain an annual liquor license in Oregon.

Determine the Type of Liquor License You Need

Oregon has several types of liquor licenses. Each license type has it's own fees, privileges and requirements. Liquor License Types and Fees 

Determine the Business Location

License applicants must have an address in Oregon where the business will be located. Applicants must currently own, lease, or rent the business property, or be in the process of purchasing, leasing, or renting the property.

Your License Application Packet

There are several forms required when applying for a liquor license. Your packet will contain certain application forms, depending on the license type.
License applicants work with the OLCC office that covers the city or county where the licensed business will be located. The OLCC will begin working on a license application when all of the forms are complete.
If you are purchasing a business that is currently licensed, or applying for an Off-Premises Sales license, the OLCC may be able to issue a 90-Day Temporary Authority to Operate. 

Local Government Recommendation

After the OLCC accepts your license application packet, the OLCC will give you copies of some documents to take to the local government. The local government is the city (if the address of the OLCC licensed business is within the city's limits) or the county (if the address of the OLCC licensed business is outside the city's limits). The local government may charge you a fee. The local government is allowed up to 45 days to process the application and provide a recommendation to the OLCC.


Public Notice Posting

Some license applicants may be required to post a public notice of the license application at the proposed business location. If your license application requires you to post this notice the OLCC will work with you to meet the requirement.


Investigation by the OLCC

Most OLCC investigations take four to eight weeks to complete. Investigations may take longer if: the business location has had problems with OLCC, police or neighbors; the applicant has a criminal history; the applicant has provided false information; and/or the applicant has a history of abusing drugs or alcohol.

OLCC approves, denies, restricts, or makes recommendations to OLCC Commissioners

If your application is approved, the OLCC will collect the appropriate license fee and issue the license. If the application is denied or restricted, there is a process to contest the decision.
If you have additional questions, please contact your local OLCC office.

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