You have sunk a lot of money into your business. In addition, you probably put time and sweat into making it work, drawing in customers and establishing an atmosphere people enjoy. When the time came to renew your liquor license, you filled out the paperwork and mailed it in before the deadline.
That's why it was such a shock when the rejection letter arrived from the Division of Liquor Control. Without the renewal of your license, you will have to close your business, and all your sacrifice will be for nothing. In fact, as soon as your old license expires, you can't sell alcohol without breaking the law.
Satisfying a conditional order
Before you put the closed sign on your door, there are some steps you can take. The first is to determine what kind of rejection you received.
If the Division sent you a conditional order, it means the committee is willing to renew your license if you meet its conditions within a certain amount of time. For example, you may be behind in paying your alcohol sales taxes, or your establishment may have health code concerns to deal with.
As long as the deadline hasn't passed, you can meet those conditions by completing all directives, providing documentation or paying any fees requested. If you wait until after the deadline passes, the Division will rescind the conditional order and reject your application for renewal. The Division will not accept any efforts to meet the conditions after the deadline.
Filing an appeal
After your application for renewal is rejected or the deadline passes for meeting any conditions, you still have an opportunity to appeal the Division's decision. Hiring an attorney at this point may make the difference between saving your business and losing it.
Your attorney can file the appeal with the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, after which the Commission will contact you with a hearing date. Meanwhile, your attorney can advise you on how best to prepare for the hearing.
Presenting your case
On the day of your hearing, someone representing the Ohio Attorney General will tell the Commission the reasons why the Division rejected your liquor license application. Your attorney will then advocate for the renewal of your license. When the Commission has heard both sides, it will make one of the three following judgments:
- Overruling the Division: The Commission will then reassess your application for renewal.
- Conditionally overruling the Division: The Commission will give you another chance to meet the Division's conditions by a certain deadline.
- Affirming the Division's rejection: You may appeal this decision and ask the Court of Common Pleas to hear your case.
Of course, as with any legal situation, each case has its own unique properties, and yours is no different. Your lawyer will represent your interests and make sure you understand every step of the process.
Finding an attorney who is Board Certified in Administrative Law means you will have a counselor who deals specifically with licensing issues. You can have peace of mind knowing that such advocate is dedicated to protecting the business you have worked so hard to establish.