Each state differs in the way retail liquor licenses are regulated, approved, and enforced. State agencies that regulate retail liquor sales are frequently called Alcoholic Beverage Control or ABC. Counties and cities may also require retail liquor licenses.
The application process for retail liquor licenses involves many different steps. Many authorities require a preliminary application followed by a scheduled appointment with an official to screen potential license applicants. Applications often call for detailed personal information for all members or officers of a business entity including criminal background checks and credit checks. Some authorities will only issue liquor licenses based on population size and the number of liquor licenses already held in that area.