Qualification of Related Parties for Florida Alcoholic Beverage Licenses

This article is Part 3 of a three-part series addressing a common, thorny issue in Florida alcoholic beverage licensing: Who can have a financial or controlling interest in beverage company? Part 1 focuses on the Three Tier System and how it is enforced through the licensing process. Part 2 focuses on identifying the Interested Parties of a beverage license applicant. Part 3 focuses on the qualities of a Related Party that can disqualify the applicant from getting a Florida alcoholic beverage license.

Who are the Related Parties?

The Florida Beverage Law requires that a subgroup of Interested Parties called Related Parties be specifically included in the original license application and (with some exceptions) requires updates if there are changes to an applicant’s Related Parties. The Related Parties are required by ABT regulations to complete a personal affidavit and to provide a set of fingerprints at the time the original license application is filed.

The following Related Parties are required to complete the ABT’s Related Party Affidavit and submit fingerprints to the ABT:

  1. Individual applicants;
  2. Persons who have a contractual right to manage a licensed premises in return for more than 10% of the gross or net proceeds;
  3. Non-employees who have a contractual right to manage a licensed premise;
  4. All general partners of the applicant;
  5. All stockholders owning more than 0.5% of the outstanding stock of the applicant (subject to exceptions discussed below); and
  6. All directors and officers of the applicant (subject to exceptions discussed below).

Stockholders, directors, officers who are Related Parties are exempted from the requirement to provide fingerprints to the ABT in the following situations:

  1. The applicant’s stock is publicly traded on a national securities exchange;
  2. The applicant is a bank or licensed insurance company;
  3. The stockholder’s stock is in a parent company rather than the applicant itself; or
  4. The director is of a parent company rather than the applicant itself.

What are the Additional Qualification Requirements for Related Parties?

To be granted an alcoholic beverage license in Florida, the license applicant and each of the Related Parties of the applicant must satisfy each of the following qualifications:

  1. Must be older than 21 years, if an individual;
  2. Must have no convictions in Florida or any other state, within the last 5 years, of certain vice crimes: soliciting for prostitution, pandering, letting premises for prostitution, keeping a disorderly place, or criminal violation of state or federal controlled substance laws;
  3. Must have no felony convictions in Florida or any other state within the last 15 years; and
  4. Must have no interest or connection to a business operating in Florida or in any other state in a different tier of the Three Tier System (as discussed in Part 2)

Before applying for a alcoholic beverage license in Florida, an applicant must be sure that the applicant and all of its Related Parties meet each of these qualifications.

Do you have questions about the qualification of applicants and their Related Parties for purposes of Florida alcoholic beverage licensing. Contact us at contact@brewerlong.com to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.

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