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Liquor-By-the-Drink (LBD) licensing information

Licensing Information for Liquor-By-the-Drink (On-Premise Establishments)

1. All documentation must be submitted to and reviewed by the local Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (“TABC”) office.  Please see Staff Directory.  The completed application and related documentation will then be forwarded to the Nashville TABC main office for final review.  A non-refundable application process fee shall be paid when the application is initially submitted.  See Fees.

2.  From the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the applicant must obtain a sales tax number and a bond application. The Tennessee Department of Revenue may be contacted at room 300 of the Andrew Jackson Building; Nashville, Tennessee; (615) 741-2594 or (800) 342-1003.  Please be advised that written verification from the Department of Revenue that the applicant has a valid bond must be received by the TABC prior to the issuance of any license.  For more information please visit

3.  The following documentation forms are required to be submitted to the local TABC office.  These forms may be obtained either in person, by mail, by email, or by contacting the local TABC office.  Please see Staff Directory for additional information.  If requesting forms by mail, please provide the applicant’s complete mailing address.

A.  Application Form: Form AB-0017.  The application should be fully completed in duplicate, with both copies notarized.  The application with all supporting documentation should be submitted to the local TABC office at least three (3) weeks prior to anticipated opening date.  Applications are reviewed on Tuesday. Once the application is approved, the appropriate license fee is paid (See Fees), and written bond verified and received from the Department of Revenue, the license will be issued within 24 hours.

B.  Questionnaires: Form #AB-0009 (Rev. 3-04) Owners, partners, officers, managers and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more in the corporation/business should complete these forms.  Each questionnaire is required to be notarized.

C.   Employee On-Premise Permit Forms: Form #AB-0001 This form is required for all employees who serve, sell or otherwise dispense alcohol.  Employees must be eighteen (18) years of age to serve alcohol, and must obtain a server permit card from a TABC office.  The cost of the permit is twenty dollars ($20.00) per employee and each permit application is required to be notarized.  The server permit is valid for five years from the date of issuance.  The application fee for an employee on-premise permit (aka Server Permit) is non-refundable and may be paid only by business check, cashiers check or money order.  Beginning June 1, 2011, cash will no longer be accepted.  No personal checks will be accepted.  For more information see Server Permits.

D.  Price Schedule of Drinks: Form #RV-F1301101 This form should be completed and returned, in duplicate, to the local TABC office.  Information and questions pertaining to this form should be forwarded to the Department of Revenue at (615) 360-0380.

E.  Proof of Possession: A Lease, Deed, Bill of Sale or other acceptable documentation, indicating the applicant is actually leasing or in possession of the property, shall be furnished to this office.  It is also required for the applicant to furnish a copy of the Deed that is registered with the Register of Deed's Office. These documents shall be complete and legible.

F.  Charter from the State of Tennessee: (This document is required only if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) or a formal partnership.)  A copy of the Tennessee charter must be furnished to the local TABC office. If an out-of-state charter has been issued, then approval to do business in the State of Tennessee must be obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office, 6th Floor, William Snodgrass Building, 7th Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Union Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, telephone (615) 741-2286.  If a corporation is registered out-of-state, then a copy of that charter should also be furnished.

G.  List of Officers and Owners of Corporation: A separate list of officers (with titles) and owners with five percent (5%) or more of ownership, indicating the percentage of ownership, should be submitted with the application.  Please use form AB-0099.

H.  Certificate of Occupancy.  The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local municipality’s codes department.  Please contact the local codes department in the jurisdiction in which the store will be located for additional information.  

I.  Menu:  The menu must be properly printed - not handwritten.  (It is not necessary to provide the typical plastic cover or jacket with the menu.)

J.  Tax Numbers: A Tennessee sales tax number can be obtained from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, 8th Floor, Andrew Jackson Building, 500 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37242.

i. SALES TAX: telephone (615) 253-0600

ii. LIQUOR–BY–THE-DRINK TAX: telephone (615) 253-0680 option 2

iii. FRANCHISE AND EXCISE: telephone (615) 253-0700.

K.  ABC Inspection: An inspection will be conducted only when an application has been submitted to the local TABC office, and the establishment is ready to open.  All fire and building inspections must be complete and satisfactory: tables placed in their final location; any patio areas are defined; required signs are posted; etc.  The applicant should contact the local TABC office and schedule an inspection.

L.  Bond Application Forms: Bond application forms may be obtained by contacting the Tennessee Department of Revenue, “LBD Unit”, 3rd Floor, Andrew Jackson State Office Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37242, telephone (615) 532-4552, fax (615) 532-9784.  All bond forms must be returned to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

4.  City or County Privilege Tax.  After the insurance of an on-premise consumption license by the TABC, the licensee must also pay a privilege tax to the local municipality or county.  The privilege tax is limited to license fees set in 2003 according to T.C.A.§ 57-4-301(b).  Please contact the local municipality and/or county in which the establishment is located for additional information.

Click here for basic restaurant LBD requirements

Click here for basic hotel LBD requirements

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