Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Coveted Utah alcohol licenses soon can be bought and sold
Alcohol » Utah law, taking effect July 1, will allow the holder of a state license to sell it to a qualified buyer.


< Previous Page


UDABC staffers also have planned a session in mid-May to determine how to handle the specifics of the law, including the applications process, operational requirements, fees and notification of creditors.

Ashby said buyers will have to "go through the application process and meet all the statutes" before getting the liquor commission approval.

At a glance

Buying and selling alcohol licenses

Beginning July 1, a new state law allows those who hold a state alcohol license to sell it to a qualified buyer. Here are some of the restrictions:

» Alcohol licenses can be sold to another person whether it is for the same location or a different premise. However, the license must remain in the same county as issued.

» The buyer must meet a list of qualifying factors to hold the license and must have satisfied all tax debts.

» The buyer must begin operations within 30 days or forfeit the license.

» There is a transfer application fee of $300.

» The seller must notify all creditors that the license is being transferred; unpaid creditors can file claims.

» All transfers are subject to approval of the state liquor commission.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

That is especially true if the buyer plans to move the license to a new location. In those cases, according to the law, the UDABC will have to ensure — among other things — that the transfer stays within the same county, that the new location is the correct distance from churches and schools and that the new owners are not delinquent in taxes or payments to creditors and lien holders.

Other questions » Dave Morris, owner of Salt Lake City’s Piper Down and president of Utah Hospitality Association, said the new law "raises tons of interesting questions."

There are tax issues, he said. "If I paid $300 for my liquor license and if I sell it for more, do I have to pay capital gains?"

It also could create a whole new business of alcohol license brokers, who would connect buyers and sellers, similar to a real estate agent.

Morris said the law "definitely satisfies a need" because of the current club-license shortage.

"But it’s an artificial shortage," he said. Lawmakers, he noted,could simply adjust the population requirement — or eliminate the Zion Curtain — and the list would dwindle quickly.

But until then, the free market will determine the price.


story continues below
story continues below

"You can try to sell it for $60,000 and if no one takes it, you’ll have to lower your price," Morris said. "But if the Winter Olympics come back, you can bet licenses will go up to the $200,000 range." Morris also believes there will be "crazy entrepreneurs" who will try to find a loophole in the law. "They will be sneaky and resort to backdoor politics" to get a license, he said.

"But if there’s holes in this thing," he said, "I guess we’ll find out."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.