You can be your own landlord. Really, the SLA says so!!

There are a lot of documents, applications and questionnaires that must be submitted when applying for a liquor license with the State Liquor Authority. The SLA has started enforce yet another requirement to the ever-growing list of things that are submitted in order to apply for a liquor license. Before, if you owned the property yourself and wanted to obtain a liquor license for your restaurant/bar, the SLA did not enforce the completion of the Landlord Identification form.

With this recent rise in enforcement, the SLA requires that a Landlord Identification form be completed and submitted with every complete application for a liquor license. So, if you own the property, who is your landlord? Well, it could be you! When filling out this form as the owner of the property, you will list your name (and anyone else who is listed on the deed) as the landlord. Tip to filling out this form when you are your own landlord– replace “landlord” with “owner” when going through the questions. If the building is not owned by the same individual or business entity as listed as the applicant for the liquor license, the SLA will probably require a written lease. This includes, for example, when more than are owner is listed on the deed but only one will operating the business. It is not unusual for attorneys and accountants to recommend that the real property be separately owned by an LLC and then leased to the restaurant business, even where the individual is the same owner of both businesses.

Seem confusing? Well, the always changing rules and procedures of the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) can be confusing. Seeking legal guidance when filing with the SLA can help increase your chance of success and minimize time delays in the application process.