Liquor licensee tips

Find advice for managing an alcohol business.

Tips for success

What not to do

  • Do not sell alcohol to people under age 21 or hire anyone under the age of 18. Insist on an ID.
  • Do not let anyone drink on your premises after hours, including employees.
  • Do not allow anyone to take open containers of alcohol from your premises.
  • Do not allow unlawful gambling on your premises.
  • Do not violate your occupancy limit. This includes both inside and outside.

What to do

  • Be a good neighbor.
  • Notify the police of illegal activity.
  • Pick up litter each day.
  • Keep your insurance up-to-date.
  • Have an exit plan for closing time. Encourage patrons to leave without disturbing nearby neighbors.
  • Follow your approved business plan, including hours, security and entertainment.
  • Pay your taxes, fees, assessments and fines. We cannot approve a license if you owe money to the City or State of Minnesota.
  • Provide alcohol service training to employees within 60 days of hire and each year after. Training topics should include:
    • Laws about sale of alcohol
    • Rules for identification checks
    • Recognizing intoxicated persons
    • Responsibilities of businesses that serve intoxicating liquors

Discourage patrons from drinking too much

  • Limit drink specials.
  • Create appetizer and drink offers.
  • Offer food specials during happy hour.
  • Add more virgin drinks to your menu.
  • Install kitchen equipment to diversify your menu.
  • Advertise food specials.

Tell us about changes to your business

Let us know if you make any changes to your business:

  • Failure to report may result in adverse license action.
  • The City Council must approve when an alcohol business makes a change in:
    • Owner, officer, director, shareholder or manager
    • Physical space, such as enlarging your premises or adding a sidewalk cafe

See Change in owner, officer or operations

Contact us

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415