NJ ABC Extends The Deadline To Renew Liquor Licenses To September 30, 2020

Cole Schotz
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Cole Schotz

As a result of the unprecedented health hazard posed by the Coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) and the significant impact on the hotel and hospitality industry, the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (the “ABC”) has exercised his broad authority under N.J.SA. 33:1-39 to extend the 2019-2020 license term for all municipally-issued liquor licenses until Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

New Jersey requires that retail liquor license holders renew their licenses annual through the ABC POSSE system. The licensee must file a renewal application, pay the municipal and state renewal fees and be issued proof of New Jersey Sales Tax Clearance on or before July 30 each year or such licensee’s ABC privileges will lapse (e.g., the ability to transport, purchase, sell and serve alcoholic beverages).

As a result of COVID-19 and the mandatory closure of bars and on premises dining, the ABC understands that many licensees will not be able to take all the necessary steps to renew their licenses by June 30, 2020 and has therefore determined that a ninety (90) day extension ( to September 30, 2020) is necessary for licensees to stabilize their financial situation, reopen their business operations and complete the renewal process.

We caution however, that Licensee’s should still endeavor to complete the renewal filing process prior to September 30, 2020 to provide enough time for processing and for the local issuing municipal council or alcoholic beverage control board to take the requisite action (i.e., adopt a resolution renewing the license for the 2020-2021 license term) without allowing a lapse in the license. In addition, no license renewals will be approved without a tax clearance certificate having been issued by the NJ Division of Taxation. Typically, it can take a period of thirty (30) days or more to obtain such certificate. Licensees can expect further delays in processing and should consider starting their renewal process as soon as possible.

For more information please click the link to read the order authorizing the extension of the license renewal period.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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