Every bar, or establishment that sells alcohol, in Texas is required to hold an active liquor license.  The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulates when and how businesses can hold liquor licenses and permits. Business owners operating without licenses are liable to face fines or even jail time. So, it’s essential to understand what license or permit you need and to follow the steps to get one correctly.


Based in Houston and serving the entire great state of Texas, Ranger Licensing specializes in helping business owners navigate the process of obtaining their liquor license. Ranger also offers additional legal services for all aspects of your business.

Understanding Different Types of Licenses for Bars

From hours of operation to staffing needs and design, you have a lot of factors to consider when running a bar. One of the first and more important considerations you will undertake is determining which type of alcoholic beverage license you need. Some considerations for this include: whether you want to sell beer for consumption strictly on the premises, whether you will be selling wine in addition to beer and spirits, and whether you will be brewing your own beer on-site. Below is a quick explanation of the types of licenses that may be applicable to your business. Keep in mind that there may be additional regulations for each type.

  • Mixed Beverage Permit (MB): Allows the sale of mixed drinks for consumption on the premises.
  • Beer Retailer’s On-Premise License (BE): Permits the sale of beer for on-premise consumption.
  • Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG): Allows for the sale of beer and wine for on-premise consumption.
  • Brewpub License (BP): Allows a bar to brew their own beer on the premises and sell it on-site and, in some cases, to other TABC permitted bars and restaurants.
  • Private Club Registration Permit (N): Necessary for private clubs that are located in dry counties who plan to serve alcohol to members.
  • Late Hours Permit (LB): Allows bars to sell alcohol beyond standard legal hours.
  • Temporary Event Approvals: For bars that offer catering services and want to serve alcohol off-site at events.
  • Food and Beverage Certificate (FB): Required for bars that serve food and want to qualify for certain types of liquor licenses.

Depending on the type of license you hold, the way your bar is operated will likely be impacted. For example, if your bar serves food then you may want to obtain a Food and Beverage Certificate, while a bar that doesn’t serve food but does feature a weekly music show may need to obtain a local dance hall permit. If you’re unsure what type of permit or license is right for you, Ranger can help you decide what is best for your bar.

Challenges in Obtaining a Liquor License

While you may think that obtaining a liquor license is as simple as filling out a form, it can be a much more complex process. In addition to ensuring that you are applying for the correct type of permit, there are also additional regulations that need to be understood.

These include understanding local laws and following all TABC guidelines and regulations. Breaking these regulations, even when done accidentally because you don’t understand the process, can result in a revocation of your license, fines, or even jail time.

How Ranger Licensing Simplifies the Process

Ranger Licensing has years of experience working within the structures and guidelines of the TABC. We offer services such as application preparation to ensure that your application is complete and accurate, compliance checks to ensure that you are operating within TABC standards, and help navigating any additional local regulations that may affect the operation of your bar.

Compliance and Renewals

Once you’ve obtained your license, you will need to comply with any restrictions and regulations that come with it. These may include things like posting the correct signage, following local drinking restrictions such as those for anyone underage, and renewing your license as needed.

Ranger Licensing is happy to help you with compliance checks, answering questions you may have about restrictions, and working with you to ensure that your renewals are always done on-time and in accordance with TABC guidelines.

Customized Solutions for Different Bar Concepts

Every bar is different, whether you’re a rowdy sports bar or everyone’s favorite local tavern.  At Ranger Licensing, we can help you determine which license is right for you and how to ensure that your bar concept complies with all Texas laws. Examples of different bar concepts we’ve helped include: Sports Bars, Cocktail Lounges, Music Venues/Bars, Pub/Tavern, Wine Bars, Brewpubs, Nightclubs/Dance Bars, Themed Bars, Dive Bars, Rooftop Bars, Karaoke Bars, Hotel Bars, Speakeasies, Beer Gardens, Cigar Bars. If you plan to sell alcohol on your business premises, then we can help. We specialize in specializing, and understand that a nightclub may need the ability to bring in live music while a themed bar may also need to be able to offer catering services.

Contact Ranger Licensing today!

Whether you are opening a new bar, or are working to renew the license for your already existing business, contact Ranger Licensing for help. Based in Houston, Texas, we are proud to serve businesses throughout the state.


Q: How long does it take to get a liquor license for a bar in Texas?

A: The time to obtain a liquor license in Texas can vary, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the license type and specific circumstances.

Q: What are the basic requirements for a bar to qualify for a liquor license in Texas?

A: Basic requirements include having a suitable location compliant with local zoning laws, being of legal age (21 or over), and passing a background check. Specific requirements can vary based on the license type.

Q: Can a bar in Texas serve alcohol on a patio or outdoor area?

A: Yes, bars in Texas can serve alcohol in outdoor areas, but they may need additional permits or approval, depending on local regulations and the specifics of their liquor license.

For questions or to set up a free consultation to discuss your business, contact Ranger Licensing at (713) 881-9009.