Confidentiality is really important from a seller’s perspective but marketing and talking to people about a business to sell it is crucial.

It is understandable that you want it to be kept really quiet but you want everybody to know about it. The fact is that we only want the people that should know about it to know about it.

As soon as you start talking to people, confidentiality becomes a big concern. The best thing that you can do is work with your team and start to desensitize them for when they hear that the business is for sale.

Prepare the staff and explain to them that everything is for sale for a price and selling the place is an option any day if somebody showed up with the right number.

Talk to the staff about recent sales in the industry so it doesn’t come as a shock.

Priming them and hearing about it for the last month or two will desensitize them. These are just some ways to minimize the amount of trouble that comes with someone breaking confidentiality.

When you or your liquor license broker start to talk about selling your store to potential buyers, confidentiality is a valid concern.  When you file an application before the town to transfer the license it becomes public knowledge. There’s no way to avoid it!

Before the information goes public, you want to make sure you have conversations with the important people and make sure that you have had a discussion with key employees.

Most importantly, you want to have a discussion with your landlord to make sure they know what your plans are. The landlord is going be an essential part of this from the very beginning. If you are going to transfer the business to somebody else and they want to stay in that location, the landlord needs to be involved early on rather than later.

Only you know that answer as the owner. You’ve been dealing with this landlord for years, know his personality best, and know how they will react.

If you’ve been a good tenant all along and have been straightforward this shouldn’t be a problem. Once that application gets filed, everybody’s going to know about it so prepare yourself and seek advice when needed.

If you would like confidential advice we are here to guide you. We will give you some tools, tips and tricks on how to do that.

Liquor License Broker Boston - How Do You Know If A Broker Is Right For You?

Boston Liquor License Broker – or any broker for that matter are not all the same!

When you are buying or selling a license or a business, there are many moving parts and it requires some skill and finesse to get the result you want. A successful transaction in the liquor industry has to be navigated by someone who meets the following criteria:

  1. they are a specialist in the liquor industry, not a generalist
  2. they are trustworthy and have integrity
  3. they have industry-specific knowledge of liquor licenses in the area
  4. they have the confidence and communications skills that will lead the process and keep all parties in check
  5. they have proven systems and processes
  6. they are surrounded by a team and complimentary experts who can get the deal done

The intricacies of a deal have to be managed in a way that keeps it moving along. We’ve found the longer a deal goes, the more likely it is to not close. We place significant priority in timing each phase of the process and know exactly how long it takes to sell a liquor store or license.

In this video, Dan Newcomb, long time liquor license advisor and liquor license expert talks about finding the right Boston liquor license broker:

At the end of the day, you want to find the best fit with someone who can see the deal through to the end and get the transaction done in the quickest time possible for the most money when selling your liquor store.

If you are looking for a Boston liquor license broker or a liquor store broker anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Florida – give us a call we’d be happy to discuss options to work with us to get you where you need to be.

To learn more about our general offerings and specialized services for attorneys, licensing coordinators, liquor store owners, franchise developers, food and beverage establishment owners, bankruptcy trustees, lenders, and more, visit our resources section or give us a call  directly at 781.319.9800

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How Long Does It Take To Sell Your Liquor Store

How can you shorten the timeline when selling a liquor store? What about a liquor license? This is a question we often get asked by owners in the Boston, MA area and the answer is depending on your situation and who you have on your team.

First off, we track and measure each step of the process internally and after doing this work for decades we now have a projected timeline for each client based on their location and other variables.

Second, we have a team of people we’ve worked closely with for many years that can predict where the bottlenecks may happen in a deal and we can then be proactive in the process of selling a liquor store for you and move it to close.

Our proprietary system called the Match Method™ allows us to keep the process moving along effectively.

Watch the video below to hear some tips on selling your liquor store:

At Liquor License Advisor we have been in the liquor license and liquor store broker industry for many decades and been a part of thousands of transactions. We have a team behind us that executes a proven system to make sure that your license and/or liquor store sell in the least amount of time possible for the most money.

We internally track deals to make sure when we sell a liquor store, we are able to optimize the process. Our team is actually rewarded based on the timeline of a deal to close. It’s that important to us that we get you the yield of your investment back as quickly as possible at the highest return.

When it comes time for selling your liquor store, we are here to help. We can give you insights into your marketplace and may already have a buyer in mind.

Give us a call any time (781)319-9800 or contact us.

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Sell A Liquor Store – How To Prepare Your Store

When you decide to sell a liquor store, one of the biggest things we ask our clients to do is to approach selling a liquor store as if they were their own customers. It’s important to consider the details like the look and feel of the environment as soon as you walk in.

Looking At Your Liquor Store As A Customer

Seeing the store through your customer’s eyes allows you to create an environment that is welcoming and professional which a potential buyer will find appealing. If your store is attracting customers, it’s making money.

Maximize the price that your store will sell for by doing spring cleaning and organizing. Paint, Windex, and lightbulbs are a great investment! Anything you can do to update the store that’s relatively inexpensive will result in an exponential return.

Finding The Right Broker To Sell A Liquor Store

One of the best decisions you can make when selling your liquor store is choosing the right liquor store broker to partner with to close the deal. Not only will a great broker assist you in organizing the documents and due diligence, but they will guide you on how to prepare your liquor store for a prospective buyer visit as well as how to interact with them when they show up (and they will).


At Liquor License Advisor we have been in the liquor license and liquor store broker industry for many decades and been a part of thousands of transactions. We have a team behind us that can assist with any deal, no matter how complex, large or small we will find a way.

If you have questions about how to sell a liquor store, we’re here to help.

Give us a call any time (781)319-9800 or contact us.

Sell A Liquor Store Boston, MA

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Ancient Egyptian Beer-Making: A Woman’s Job


The Ancient Egyptians (and most civilizations throughout history, frankly) are not known for being at the forefront of women’s rights. However, the art of brewing beer was almost exclusively female activity. What’s the big deal, you may be wondering? Well, beer was the lifeblood of civilization. It was a source of revelry, but also nutrition.


While the Sumerians had Ninkasi as the goddess of beer, the Egyptians had Tenenet to preside over beer-making. The earliest brewing would have been as simple as boiling down loaves of bread and letting them sit to ferment in large jars. The mixture was then strained and could be flavored with honey or herbs.


In just a few days, a clunky mess turned into drinkable beer which was consumed by the masses. It was drank before work to provide nutrients and energy, after work and at gatherings for relaxation and conversation, and sometimes used as money for bartering.


The drink would have been frothy and was drank with long straws out of bowls in order to avoid the grittiness that rose to the top. The Ancient Greeks marvelled at the Egyptian women and their brewing abilities, though they were not a fan of the product themselves and preferred wine.


In an age when women had little rights, brewing was a way to learn income and achieve a level of power and influence. Without them, there would be no beer. Without beer, then what?


Greg Caggiano is an avid food/drink blogger and the founder of Eating New Jersey. He lectures at Brookdale Community College on various historical subjects including the history of liquor and the history of prohibition in New Jersey.

“The Taste Must Be Acquired”: 5,000 Year Old Beer


A friend of mine who considers himself a beer historian used to remark, “Gotta hand it to the Sumerians. They invented writing…and beer!” Arguably two of the most important items in human history, they can be given credit for one of the world’s favorite beverages along with the Egyptians and Babylonians. We can even go a step further and surmise that they needed writing (in the form of cuneiform) to keep track of their beer recipe!


But what did it taste like?


It was a far cry from the beautiful, crisp, translucent complexion we are used to today. The Sumerians may have worshipped a Goddess of Beer (her name was Ninkasi) but complex filtering was still a ways off. The beer itself was actually quite murky, with a brownish consistency. Based on accounts of the time, we can liken beer to a watery gruel.


Also from the hieroglyphics, we can get an idea of how important beer was to the ancients in their everyday life: there are stories from 2,200 BC telling of mothers waiting at home for their children to arrive from school with a snack of “bread and beer”. For adults, such beer was drank out of long reeds and could have been done communally around a large pot (think of a Hookah set-up). The buzz was probably more important than the flavor, as even in 500 BC, an account reads, “the taste must be acquired”.


However, they did get one thing right. More than 4,000 years ago, an inscription was found stating, “The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer”. Ain’t that the truth?


Greg Caggiano is an avid food/drink blogger and the founder of Eating New Jersey. He lectures at Brookdale Community College on various historical subjects including the history of liquor and the history of prohibition in New Jersey.


What Does “Public Need” for a Liquor License Mean?

By John P. Connell, Esq., Law Offices of John P. Connell, P.C.

Did you know that sometimes, in order to get a liquor license for a location not previously licensed, you have to demonstrate “public need?” Several factors go into assessing public need, and it’s good to keep them in mind.
The “public need” standard is one way for local licensing authorities to ensure liquor licenses are placed in neighborhoods where there aren’t already an abundance of bars, restaurants, or package stores. But how do the liquor licensing authorities decide whether the public need standard is met?
What happens when some community members oppose a newly-licensed establishment in their neighborhood, while other community members express support?


Understanding the Factors at Play


Liquor licensing authorities look at the number of pre-existing licenses in the proposed area, the traffic and noise in the area, the opinions of the neighborhood, and the overall reputation of the applicant. Liquor licensing authorities have the discretion to “exercise judgment about public convenience and public good that is very broad, but is not untrammeled.”

When liquor licensing authorities deny a transfer or grant of a license, they must be able to back up their denial with evidential support. If not, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission can overrule it, if the license applicant decides to appeal.


What Are “Neighborhood Opinions”?


Although a neighborhood’s opinions and concerns regarding a license applicant are relevant, standing alone, they’re insufficient for denial of an application. At a license applicant’s hearing (where the licensing board votes to deny or grant a license), testimony by locals isn’t enough evidence for an application denial. Similarly, testimonials from locals, like concern about parking and traffic issues, has to be consistent with the liquor licensing authorities’ own findings.
In other words, the liquor licensing authorities can’t just deny a license on the basis of a few vocal opponents, without independent findings that there’s no public need.


How to Troubleshoot Ahead of Time


The liquor licensing authorities have to have sufficient evidence to support their decision. So, a license applicant’s good standing and overall reputation in the community will help the process of gaining the liquor licensing authorities’ approval. Therefore, a license applicant should try to show a demand for a liquor license at their proposed location with supportive speakers, political or neighborhood representatives, or other means of evidence. You should also be prepared to show there is a plan to handle parking and traffic, as well as other concerns. Mostly importantly, a license applicant should reach out to the community before the hearing to address any concerns raised by neighbors.
To put it simply, don’t just show up to the hearing and hope for the best. Prepare, reach out to the community, and you’ll have the evidence you need to convince the liquor licensing authorities there is a need for your license.


How Bar Owners Can Protect Against Financial Losses From Staff

By Russ Bubas, President, Data Quest, LTD


Most restaurateurs know how to control liquor cost, but thanks to the fact that some of the “controls” can be tricky and time-consuming, they get skipped, causing costs to skyrocket. Studies of the industry show that 25%-30% of a bar’s liquor inventory never translates to registered sales, thanks to comps or discounts, over-pouring, spillage, and theft.

Here’s how to stop these types of incidents from happening.

Every restaurateur and bar owner has heard warnings about silent partners. Once in my career, I went to an upscale steakhouse to do an integrity audit at the bar. The bartender was polite, professional, and served my drink promptly. But as I placed the money on the bar for payment, he ignored it as he served the drink. That was the first clue.

A few minutes later, he served another customer, and collected money from him and from me at the same time. Only one drink was recorded, and it looked like my money went into a tip cup. When I called the owner to tell him, he replied, “Impossible! He’s been with us for 25 years. He’s like a member of my family.” I told him we should audit the terminal and take a look at the tip jar. I also advised bringing the bartender into the office to ask why he doesn’t collect from customers every time he serves.

Long story short, he did finally admit to stealing. The owner gave him the benefit of the doubt, offering him the opportunity to make restitution by the next day, then suspending him. The following day, the bartender walked in with a large shopping bag containing more than $7,700 in cash. He’d been using the money to save for retirement. The bartender was terminated, but the owner’s business was saved.

Around 62% of new businesses go out of business in the first year, largely because of unexplained losses. A bartender giving away drinks to generate larger tips has the same effect on the bottom line as if he put the money directly in his pocket. You have to protect yourself and your profits, so here are some tricks to spot warning signs:





Stay alert and skeptical of any unusual actions. Don’t let your staff audit the registers, but do conduct unannounced register audits.

A culture of honesty is important: Do frequent inventories, require open communication, and build in deterrents, like the register audits. These things will help you protect yourself, and encourage openness and honesty amongst your staff.



How to Control Your Liquor Cost—And Boost Profitability

By Robert P. Kiley, Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant Accounting Services


Most restaurateurs know how to control liquor cost, but thanks to the fact that some of the “controls” can be tricky and time-consuming, they get skipped, causing costs to skyrocket. Studies of the industry show that 25%-30% of a bar’s liquor inventory never translates to registered sales, thanks to comps or discounts, over-pouring, spillage, and theft.


Here’s how to stop these types of incidents from happening.


1. Check in on your bartenders.


Start with the basics: Require service bartenders to use jiggers, since the customers can’t see them, anyway. If bartenders are visible to customers, test the pours of the bartenders. Random inspections will help you make sure they aren’t pouring “heavy,” coupled with testing their pouring ability frequently. Another thing to make sure of is that bartenders are required to ring all transactions for sales immediately, and drink recipes should be consistent and readily available.


2. Manage inventory.


Rule of thumb: Establish proper par levels, and keep as little on hand as possible. The less inventory employees see, the less waste from heavy pouring. Keep liquor locked, and establish a system for using bottle-for-bottle exchange.


Even better, have a weekly inventory with a programmed point-of-sale system and tally of beverage cost. The more often inventory is taken, the more we can police the cost. In addition to taking total inventory by category (i.e. liquor, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages), your point-of-sale system needs to tally sales by these categories as well.



3. Keep several guidelines in mind.


There are a few key guidelines to keep in mind, which can be broken down with simple math.

Beverage Cost = (Beverage Purchases +/- Inventory Change)/ Total Beverage Sales

Some math to break it down…

Liquor sales for the month: $40,000            100.00%

Liquor purchases for the month: $7,560            18.90% ($7,560 divided by $40,000)

Inventory Change: + $280 + 07.%

Total Cost: $7,840 19.60% ($7,840 divided by $40,000)

Beverage cost percentage: 19.6%
This calculation should be done for beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages as well.

Successful restaurants generate total beverage costs in the mid-20% range. Generally, a liquor cost of 20%, a beer cost of 25%, wine cost of 30%, and non-alcoholic beverage cost of 25% are acceptable.

Control and calculating your beverage cost are essential tools in increasing profitability.



5 Tips for Getting (and Keeping) A Liquor License in a State With a Quota

By Gene Richard, Esq., Wayne, Richard & Hurwitz, LLP


A business can’t legally sell alcoholic beverages to consumers without a valid liquor license. Since profits from sales of alcoholic beverages can make or break a restaurant, hotel, club or package store, getting that retail liquor license is important—only second to keeping it. Here’s what you need to know.


1. Availability varies.


Retail liquor licenses are issued by each city or town, with the approval of the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC). That means only limited numbers of each type of license are available in each municipality.


A town or city that is “below quota” can issue a new license directly to qualified applicants. However, once a town or city is “at quota,” an unlicensed business has to wait for an existing license to be turned in, or pay an existing licensee to transfer the license to a new holder.


New licenses typically cost two or three thousand dollars, and that’s just for application and annual license fees. The cost to buy an existing license involves the same fees, plus whatever price the existing licensee charges, which varies based on location and type of license (however, a head’s up: It can run well into the six-figure range).



2. Make sure you go over the nitty-gritty details.


Applications for new licenses or license transfers must be made via forms from the ABCC. The basic forms are available on the ABCC’s website, along with a helpful checklist of documents that need to be submitted with each type of application. Remember to check in with licensing authorities in your municipality, just in case additional forms are required. More tips about applications:


1. Fill the forms out completely. Failure to disclose relevant facts can be grounds to deny the application, or revoke a license that was already granted.

2. Attach copies of your lease or other evidence of your right to occupy the property. Although premises can be under construction at the time of application, no license will be issued until the premise has been inspected by the authorities.

3. Each person with an interest in the license must be disclosed and approved. That includes: Individual owners, those working with a corporation, LLC, partnership, or association (including officers, directors, and shareholders), and the applicant’s landlord (if the lease includes a rent provision that is based on the sale of alcoholic beverages).

4. Corporate licensees must designate and disclose an individual manager.

5. The initial costs and financing for the license have to be included: Your application needs to show all the costs involved in obtaining the license and getting the businesses up and running.

6. Individuals who have an interest in the licensee have to sign and submit personal information forms (PIFs) and criminal records requests (CORIs) as part of the application. This includes your landlord if that aforementioned rent provision is in play, and might also include owners and entities that own stock in the licensee.

7. Apply for a tax Certificate of Good Standing. The ABCC can’t approve a license issuance if either the new or the old licensee owes taxes to the state.



3. Pay wholesalers.


Your “purchase and sale” agreement with the former licensee should include that the new licensee is not accepting liabilities of the original business. Make sure to check whether the license is on the “delinquency list” kept for liquor wholesalers, and ensure that wholesalers on the list are paid before the transfer.


4. Prepare to go through the process again in the future.


Once your application is approved and the license is issued, you might have to go through the process all over again for any number of reasons. For example, if your manager quits, you’ll need a new license, and to get that manager approved. Approval has to be obtained for a change in location or new stock, too.


5. Remember to renew annually.


Check in with your local licensing authorities in your municipality for specifications on “automatic renewal” or submitting a renewal application. Most municipalities require that documentation of liquor liability insurance and inspection certificates are included with the renewal form, and you’ll still need to be up-to-date on your taxes and payment of the annual license fee.

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