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Liquor License

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About Liquor License

A liquor license is a permit given by the state excise department to those who wish to sell alcoholic beverages at a certain place. This license is issued only after close scrutiny to all the details of the license holder because selling liquor without a license is an offence under various state laws.

Liquor Law In India

Article 47 of the Indian Constitution briefly states that “The State shall endeavor to bring about a prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.” It is noteworthy that Five States in the country have been banned from the sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol.


The phenomenon of the consumption of alcohol is not only among the rich class of the society, but even the middle class and the poor youth consume it more at a higher extent. The factors which trigger them are the easy availability, weak implementation of laws etc. To ostensibly mitigate the wrongful sale of liquor licenses provide for a checking a mechanism.

It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, distribute or sell intoxicating liquor without a state license issued by the state supervisor of the division alcohol and tobacco control.

Therefore, to maintain the health and the state of peace & order in the country, there is a requirement to regulate the selling of liquor and hence a liquor license is necessary.

Types Of Liquor

Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL)

It refers to 'Hard Liquor' manufactured in the country.

Imported foreign liquor (IFL)

This refers to the liquors which are produced outside of India and later on imported to India. IFL is usually expensive than the IMFL.

Types Of Liquor License

Different types of licenses are issued by each state government. An individual or company can seek the grant of following licenses:

Grant of L-1 license: For wholesale supply of Indian Liquor

The government of NCT of Delhi every year formulates policies for grant of this license in pursuance of which it is granted to the wholesale supply of Indian liquor. It is granted to Company or a society or a partnership firm or proprietorship firm having licensed manufacturing units (distillery / brewery /winery/bottling plant).

Grant of L-6 License: For retail vendors

L-6 License is issued to the retail vendors of Indian liquor/beer which is granted to selected undertakings of Delhi government. In regard to premises for such liquor shop, proposals are invited by selected and approved corporations. The grant of this license by the excise commissioner is given only after looking into the suitability of such premises.

Grant of L-3/L-5 Licences: For hotels

The govt. grants these licenses to hotels which are holding star classification and also the approval from Tourism Department of Govt. of India which is considered necessary for grant of License in form L-3. L-3 license empowers the hotel for service of foreign liquor to the residents in their rooms. These hotels can also seek separate License in form L-5 for serving the liquor in exclusive bars and the restaurants in the hotel premises.

Grant of L-19 License: For clubs

L-19 license is granted to a club registered with the Registrar of Firms/Registrar of Cooperative Societies for service of foreign liquor to its members. It is subject to the provisions of Punjab Excise Act, 1914 as extended to the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Grant of L-49A license: Marriages, Parties etc

This license can be obtained on payment of Rs. 3,000/- for service of liquor in any party, function, marriage etc. at a specific premises anywhere in Delhi excluding public parks subject to the following conditions: -

o The area should be away from public view.

o Liquor should be served to adults above 25 years of age.

o Liquor should be procured from authorized source in Delhi.

Renewal of license

In order to retain a license, it has to be renewed every year by remitting the appropriate fee.

Cancellation of License

A liquor license can be cancelled if the licensee violates any rules laid by the authority. In addition to this, cancellation will be enacted on those licensees who sell alcohol on dry days or to minors.

Frequently Asked Questions

It normally takes 60 to 90 days to process retail and in-state non-retail licenses, and 30 to 45 days to process an out-of-state non-retail license.

Generally speaking, a standard restaurant license allows you to sell beer, wine and liquor as long as the proceeds don't exceed more than 40% of your total revenue. If you're a small restaurant with less than 100 seats, and you only want to serve beer and wine, you can apply for a limited liquor license.

If you are planning a special event anywhere other than a private place, or an establishment with a liquor license and wish to serve alcohol you will need to apply for and obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP). Private Event SOPs are for occasional events for invited guests only, such as a birthday party or wedding.


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