FAQ


1. WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN GETTING AN ALCOHOL LICENSE?

Step One: Send in your completed application (see https://abca.wv.gov/forms/Pages/default.aspx for applications). Make sure all parts of the application have been completed per instructions.

Step Two: Once your application is received, it will be reviewed by a licensing specialist for accuracy and completeness.

Step Three: The licensing specialist will contact you, if any additional information is needed.

Step Four: A WVABCA Agent will meet with the applicant(s) at the proposed premises to complete an initial inspection report (make sure the proposed premises are ready for inspection and any construction completed).

Step Five: When the inspection report is received by the WVABCA Licensing Division and when all supporting documents have been reviewed by the licensing specialist, the application will then be submitted for final review with either approval or denial of the application.

Step Six: If approved the WVABCA will mail the applicant a license that must be posted in a prominent location at the establishment (along with other signs – please be aware and review continued licensure and operational requirements for your license under the WV Code and Rules).

 

           2. HOW LONG DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS TAKE?

The licensure process takes about a month. However, processing times are dependent on the accuracy, thoroughness and completeness of the application. Further, each applicant must also the submit documents timely. Additionally, the applicant must have the proposed premises ready (meet requirements and construction completed) for inspection. 

Review and processing times also vary based on the volume of applications submitted at any one time.  Applications are reviewed in the order that they are received (true or False) and whether the applicant has completed the application and all supporting documents.

 

           3. HOW AND WHERE ARE FINGERPRINTS TAKEN FOR MY BACKGROUND CHECK AND WHAT IS MY BACKGROUND CHECK CODE?

a.     You must contact IDENTOGO at 1-855-766-7746 to schedule an appointment for live scan fingerprinting for your background check.  

b.    You must contact the WVABCA Licensing Division 304-356-5500 to obtain a service code for the background check and fingerprinting process. 


       4. HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO GO TO THE CITY OR COUNTY COMMISSION TO COMPLETE MY ZONING FORM?

If the proposed premises are located within a Municipality (City) you need to have the form completed by the Municipality/City. 

If the proposed premises are located outside of a municipality (city) then the County must approve or deny by way of a County Commission letter.


       5. WHAT ARE THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING A LICENSE?

There is no longer a 2-year West Virginia residency requirement for licensure.  However, all Applicants and Licensees must have a listed manager on their application that meets the following manager requirements:

“Manager” means an individual who is the applicant’s or licensee’s on-premises  employee, member, partner, shareholder, director, or officer who meets the licensure  requirements of §11-16-1 et seq., of this code and rules promulgated thereunder who actively manages, conducts, and carries on the day-to-day operations of the applicant or licensee with full and apparent authority or actual authority to act on behalf of the applicant or licensee. Such duties include but are not limited to: Coordinating staffing; reviewing and approving payroll; ordering and paying for inventory, such as nonintoxicating beer, wine, and liquor, as applicable; and managing security staff, security systems, video and other security equipment; and any further acts or actions involved in managing the affairs of the business, on behalf of owners, partners, members, shareholders, officers, or directors.


       6. DOES MY LICENSE ALLOW PATRONS TO DRINK OUTSIDE?

Patrons may only consume nonintoxicating beer and alcoholic liquors (including wine) in areas that are approved by the WVABCA on the licensee’s approved “floor plan” and based on the license issued to the Licensee. Sanctions apply for failure to follow the WV Code and rules.

 

       7. CAN I HAVE A TRUST ON A WVABCA LICENSE?

            Only a Beer or Wine Distributor are authorized to hold a license that is owned or partially owned   by a trust, subject to other disclosure and licensure requirements.


       8. HOW DO I CHECK TO SEE IF A LICENSE IS ACTIVE?

License status may be searched on the WVABCA website which is updated daily:

https://www.wvabca.com/licensesearch.aspx

 

       9. IF I WANT TO UPGRADE/DOWNGRADE MY LICENSE FOR BEER, WINE, LIQUOR OR OTHER SERVICES WHAT MUST I DO?

The Licensee must contact the WVABCA Licensing Division for additional information. Many license types have different licensing requirements that must be completed.

 

       10. IF I CHANGE OWNERS, OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE OR ADD NEW BUSINESS PARTNERS OR A BUSINESS PARTNERS PASSES AWAY, HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO CHANGE THE LICENSEE’S INFORMATION WITH THE WVABCA?

You must immediately contact the WVABCA before or as soon as you have made any changes in the ownership of the license. Be advised there are penalties for hidden ownership (including revocation of your license). Again, if a business partner passes away, you must immediately contact the WVABCA to advise you on how to proceed with making changes.

 

       11. WHY MUST I BE ON THE LICENSE TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE AT WVABCA ABOUT THE LICENSEE?

Due to privacy concerns, control of the license entity and the sensitive nature of some issues or information, the WVABCA can only speak with persons listed on the license or their authorized professionals (accountants or attorneys – who must provide the WVABCA with a letter of representation, including their state licensure information).

 

       12. CAN I OPERATE A BYOB (operate without a license) IN WV?

NO. BYOB locations are not legally permitted in WV. 

Please see West Virginia Code §11-16-5 and §60-6-9.