Whether you’re a grocery store stocking an alcoholic beverage section or a liquor store meeting customers’ demands for specific hard to find brews, it’s an exciting and evolving business to be in. In addition to changes in customers’ tastes, you also have to contend with changes in alcohol regulations and guidelines. In the state of Texas, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commision (TABC) governs all licensing and permits for package stores and retail stores selling alcoholic beverages.

Package stores and retail stores that sell alcohol or package alcoholic beverages, including grocery stores

Ranger Licensing provides the expertise you need to navigate the complexities of local, state, and federal compliance for alcohol laws.

How Ranger Licensing Can Help

Located in Houston, but proud to serve the entire great state of Texas, Ranger Licensing offers expert knowledge and guidance for businesses in, or looking to enter, the alcoholic beverage service industry.

Ranger Licensing has years of experience in the industry, with specialized knowledge for package and retail stores, so they understand the complexities specific to your unique business. Ranger Licensing can help you from the initial application for your license or permit to guidance with complying with all laws to renewing your applications.

Types of Licenses and Permits Required

Depending on your business type, as well as what sort of alcoholic beverages you sell or plan to sell, there may be several types of permit or license that may be applicable to your situation. Below we go through the most likely for your package or retail store to fall under:

  • Package Store Permit (P): This permit is necessary for stores selling liquor for off-premise consumption.
  • Beer and Wine Retailer’s Off-Premise Permit (BQ): This permit is necessary for stores selling beer and wine to be consumed off the premises.
  • Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG): Allows the sale of beer and wine for on-premise consumption in grocery stores or similar establishments. This is the permit needed if you offer on-site tastings or have an attached area that serves alcohol.

Types of Businesses

You may be unsure if your business falls under TABC governance, but if you sell or serve alcohol in the state of Texas then you will likely need some type of permit or license. Below are some specific types of store that need the correct licensing:

  1. Package Liquor Stores:
    • Specialized stores which sell a wide range of spirits, wines, and beers, primarily for off-premise consumption. This type of store may offer on-site tastings, as well.
  2. Grocery Stores with Alcohol Sales:
    • Grocery outlets that include alcohol in their product offerings, selling beer, wine, and sometimes spirits, for off-premise consumption.
  3. Convenience Stores Selling Alcohol:
    • Smaller retail outlets offering beer and wine, and occasionally spirits, often with a focus on off-premise sales.
  4. Boutique Wine and Beer Shops:
    • Specialty stores focused on curated selections of wines and craft beers, catering to niche markets and connoisseurs.
  5. Supermarkets with Alcohol Departments:
    • Larger supermarket chains that have dedicated sections for the sale of alcoholic beverages. They may also offer on-premise tastings.
  6. Drug Stores Selling Alcohol:
    • Drug stores and pharmacies that include alcohol sales as part of their retail offerings.
  7. Gas Stations with Retail Alcohol Sales:
    • Gas stations that also operate convenience stores selling beer and wine.
  8. Online Retailers Delivering Alcohol:
    • E-commerce platforms that sell alcoholic beverages for delivery. This type of business will additionally need to adhere to specific licensing for online sales and delivery.

Compliance and Regulation Management

Complying with TABC, local, and federal regulations is an essential aspect of any business that sells or serves alcohol in Texas. Failure to be properly licensed, and failure to comply with all restrictions and regulations for selling alcohol, can result in fines, revocation of your license, and, in some cases, even result in jail time.

Ranger Licensing can assist you by ensuring ongoing compliance, such as the correct signage in your storefront and the proper training of staff, as well as managing your license renewals.

Navigating Local Zoning and Regulations

Depending on where in the state you are located, you will also have to understand all local zoning laws and community standards which impact where alcohol can be sold. For example, some cities have guidelines based around how close together businesses selling alcohol can be located. In some jurisdictions, the days and times that you are able to sell alcohol may also be affected.  Understanding these guidelines and how they affect your business is an essential part of complying with alcohol regulations. Ranger Licensing can help make abiding by these local considerations a smooth process. WIth years of experience throughout the state, they are always informed and up-to-date on all local, state, and federal regulations and restrictions.

Diversifying Product Offerings

When business is doing well, you may want to expand the range of products that you offer. If so, you will need to take the legal frameworks surrounding different alcohols into consideration. For example, if you are licensed to sell beer you will need to get a different license if you also want to sell alcoholic spirits. Diversifying alcohol lines can be a great way to bring in new business, and create buzz around your establishment, but it is essential that you do so within all licensing guidelines.

Package Stores and Retail Stores TABC Liquor License and Permit FAQs

  1. What Are the Specific Licensing Needs for Grocery Stores Selling Alcohol?
    • Grocery stores in Texas selling alcohol have specific licensing needs based on the type of alcohol they intend to sell. For selling beer and wine, a Beer and Wine Retailer’s Off-Premise Permit (BQ) is required, which allows for off-premise consumption. If the grocery store plans to sell spirits, a Package Store Permit (P) is necessary. Additionally, grocery stores must comply with local zoning laws, which can vary significantly and affect where alcohol can be sold within the community. It’s also important for these stores to adhere to regulations regarding the display and promotion of alcoholic beverages, ensuring they are sold responsibly within the broader context of a grocery retail environment.
  2. How Does Licensing for Off-Premise Alcohol Sales Differ from On-Premise?
    • Licensing for off-premise alcohol sales, as typically seen in package stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores, primarily allows customers to purchase alcohol to consume elsewhere. These licenses, like the Beer and Wine Retailer’s Off-Premise Permit (BQ) in Texas, have specific regulations regarding advertising, labeling, and hours of sale. On-premise licenses, such as those for bars and restaurants, allow for the consumption of alcohol on the premises and come with different regulations, like requirements for server training and restrictions on where alcohol can be consumed within the establishment. The key difference lies in the consumption location and the related rules governing each type of sale.
  3. What Are Common Compliance Challenges for Retail Alcohol Sellers?
    • Retail alcohol sellers face several common compliance challenges. These include adhering to the specific hours and days when alcohol sales are permitted, which can vary by local jurisdiction. Ensuring that all employees are properly trained and aware of laws regarding the sale of alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons is also crucial. Retailers must stay updated on changes in alcohol laws and regulations, which can shift over time. Inventory tracking and reporting requirements, particularly for spirits, present additional compliance tasks. Moreover, managing the layout and advertising of alcohol within the store to comply with state and local regulations can be a complex undertaking, especially in a multi-product retail environment like a grocery or convenience store.

Making your package store or retail store the best it can be involves a million choices and actions, from the design of the store to what products you stock to sell. Having one less aspect to worry about can be a huge relief, and Ranger Licensing can help. Ranger Licensing will take you from your license application to helping you for years to come with your license renewals and continued compliance efforts.

To ask any questions or schedule your free consultation, call (713) 881-9009.