Texas Alcohol Permit Requirements – What You Need to Know

Texas Alcohol Permit Requirements - What You Need to Know

A Texas alcohol permit is a legal authorization that’s required for any business that wants to produce, sell, or serve alcoholic beverages. The process is very structured and regulated, with code provisions that restrict the sale of alcohol to prevent underage drinking and other violations.

The qualifications for obtaining a license depend on several factors. These include the following:

TABC Certification

If you work in a bar, restaurant, brewpub, or liquor store, you must obtain a TABC Certification. This state-mandated course takes about half an hour to complete online, and it will help you learn how to serve alcohol responsibly and detect intoxicated patrons.

Applicants for a TABC permit must have no felony convictions on their record to become certified, which reflects the seriousness with which Texas treats its liquor license requirements. Moreover, the applicant should not be vested in a TABC permit within a different system tier—the Alcoholic Beverage Code strictly prohibits cross-tier interests.

Moreover, the city or county where you wish to open your business may have specific licensing requirements like insurance, fees, standards for late-hour business operations, and certificate of occupancy requirements. Make sure you research local laws thoroughly. You should also avoid making any errors on your application, which could be grounds for a TABC denial or revocation of your permit.


Texas alcohol permit isn’t guaranteed to succeed in the industry. It is still up to the applicant to meet eligibility requirements according to state and local laws.

Businesses that plan to sell alcohol for on-premise consumption need the proper license. Those who plan to sell alcohol privately at locations away from their establishments may require additional certification. Organizations planning fundraisers or events that include alcohol sales can also qualify for a liquor permit.

Besides meeting the TABC’s requirements, local governments may have their own rules and ordinances. These may include zoning restrictions, fees, standards for late-hour business operations, and certificate of occupancy requirements. It is best to contact your county and city officials after consulting the TABC website. Then, you can start your application process with confidence. Obtaining a license to sell alcohol can benefit your business model, so you should take time to ensure eligibility.


TABC certification is essential, but the location of your business will also impact which licenses you can apply for. The governing body for each city and county in Texas can restrict the types of alcohol licenses you can get. You must have the city and county’s approval before submitting your application to TABC.

You’ll often have to wait 45-60 days for the governing bodies to certify your application. Then, you’ll need to wait until TABC can approve your license or permit.

Additionally, some cities and counties have restrictions, requiring food to be served with any alcohol sold on the premises. You’ll also want to be aware of alcohol-free zones, such as those within 1,000 feet of public schools or daycare centers. There are several options to consider, so it’s best to talk with local restaurants and bars about the rules in your area before you begin the process.

Age Requirements

The state of Texas requires that anyone wishing to sell alcohol must obtain both a local permit from the city and a state-level license from the TABC. The City Secretary processes local permits, ensuring compliance with all city ordinances.

Regardless of the type of permit, applicants must be 21 years old. This age requirement aligns with the legal drinking age in the United States and ensures that those who are responsible for selling and serving alcohol are of legal age.

In addition, the applicant must be a citizen of the United States and must not have any convictions for crimes of moral turpitude, which includes offenses involving dishonesty or immoral behavior, within six months of applying. These requirements are essential for the business’s integrity and its patrons’ safety. The City of Frisco will only grant a liquor permit to an establishment that meets the state’s requirements. Exceptions to this rule may be made on a case-by-case basis for religious organizations.