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Licensing Information

The Agency maintains three Zone offices located in New York City, Albany and Buffalo and one satellite office in Syracuse. The Deputy Commissioner of Licensing Services coordinates statewide licensing policies, standards and initiatives and is responsible for systems development to support the licensing program.


Licensing Program
Each Licensing Bureau statewide receives, examines and investigates license and permit applications within its Zone to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements of the State Liquor Authority as provided for in the ABC Law and Rules.


License and Permit Types
The ABC Law defines various licenses and permits within two general categories - wholesale and retail. Wholesalers include those licensees manufacturing, storing and distributing alcoholic beverages for sale to licensed retailers. Retailers are those licensees who can purchase, stock and sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off-premises. The length of the license period varies depending on the class or type of license issued. The fee structure is established by the ABC Law


Licensing Eligibility
Applications are investigated to determine eligibility for a license in three general areas - the principals, the premises and the source of finances. An investigation digest report is prepared which is a checklist of mandatory licensing criteria and a summary of the investigation. The digest report and file are reviewed by the zone licensing staff for completeness and, ultimately, approval or disapproval.

In certain instances, licensing applications are referred to the Members of the Authority for a final determination. For example, if there is community opposition to a proposed establishment, or if there are concerns regarding the applicant or the premises, the License Bureau can refer the application to the Secretary's Office for consideration by Members of the Authority who receive a synopsis of the facts on that particular application.


Licensing Productivity
The Agency regulates nearly 70,000 licenses and permits statewide each year. Each zone processes new applications for the counties within its jurisdiction. The Renewal Unit is centralized in the Albany Office and coordinates renewals for the entire state.


Customer Service to Applicants
All Zone Offices are continuing efforts to promote effective service to our customers. We seek to generate good will in dealing with the hundreds of applicants and others citizens who call or visit Authority offices every day. Staff is fully cognizant of the need to provide effective and efficient service in a courteous manner. New initiatives to enhance the convenience and satisfaction of those who come in contact with the SLA are ongoing.


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New York State Liquor Authority • 80 S. Swan Street • 9th Floor • Albany, New York • 12210-8002