Howard Goldstein

Howard Goldstein
'The New Jersey Liquor License Expert" - click on picture to go to my web site

Wednesday, January 18, 2012




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1.  What role does Howard Goldstein play in my NJ liquor license transaction?
Call me to discuss the town in which you would like to locate. I identify the license and negotiate the price. Once fully negotiated, I create a Letter of Intent (LOI) with all pertinent business terms. Both buyer and seller sign the LOI. This document is NON-BINDING. It is meant to memorialize the business terms of both parties. This document is then turned over to an attorney, buyer's or seller's, to create the contract of sale.

Prices of licenses are subject to market conditions. Many factors affect the values of licenses, and since the number of license for sale varies at any point in time, the values can fluctuate both up and down by significant amounts. My transactional knowledge of the market can give you up to the moment pricing information.
I perform appraisals for Banks, values for Estates, and testify in Lawsuits as to values.

2.  What role does the ATTORNEY play in my NJ liquor license transaction?

The attorney plays the key role of closing the deal.
All deposit monies are kept in the attorney trust account.
He negotiates the contract, the buyer and seller executes the contract, the seller give the buyer a consent to transfer. Background checks are necessary for the buyers. The town approves the transfer. A closing will occur usually 4 to 6 months after contract execution.

3.  I want to open a New Jersey restaurant, which NJ liquor license do I need?
You will need a plenary retail consumption license, a/k/a "33" or a Broad C a/k/a "32".
See 2009 blog for definitions.

4.  I want to open a retail store selling package goods by the 6-pack or fifth of alcohol.
Which NJ liquor license can I use?
You can use all 3!
How is this possible?

The consumption 33 license allows the sale of full containers of alcohol from BEHIND the bar only. Displays and inventory must be placed behind the bar and sold from the bar area.

The Broad C 32 NJ liquor license allows the sale provided the store has a bar area.

The distribution 44 is the package store NJ liquor license. Beer, wine and hard liquor can only be sold by the container, not by the glass.

5. How long does the transfer of a New Jersey Liquor License take?
It truly depends on the town. As short as 4 months, sometimes one year.

6. Can I place a my New Jersey liquor license anywhere in town?
There are 566 towns in New Jersey. Each one has rules about where you can place a license. Some say, not within 500 feet of a school, church or other license holder. Another has a 1500 foot rule. Your attorney will help you with the radius restrictions. Make sure you understand the rules prior to buying the license.

7. Can I use my New Jersey Liquor License in any other New Jersey town?

8. What is a pocketed or inactive New Jersey Liquor License?

Can it be used, sold, or otherwise transacted?

If a license has been inactive for two or more years it is considered pocketed or inactive and a special ruling from NJABC's Director is required before the municipality may renew the license for the next license year.  In order to apply for a special ruling, the licensee must file the renewal application with the municipality and pay all renewal fees. The municipality will then hold the license renewal in abeyance until the Director issues the special ruling.

In order to obtain a special ruling, the licensee must file a verified petition.  Among other items of information, the verified petition must set forth how long the license has been inactive; the reason for the inactivity; efforts made to activate the license; the prognosis for activation; and previous petitions made by the licensee.  It is within the Director's discretion whether to grant the relief sought. Although there is no limit to the number of special rulings that the Director may make with respect to any one license, the longer the license is inactive, the less the probability that the Director will grant the petition and issue a special order.

Typically, the Director will issue a special ruling for the first verified petition for a period of two years. Thereafter, special rulings will be granted on an annual basis. Usually, but not always, that the Director will usually grant the first and second petitions for relief. Thereafter, the Director's willingness to grant further special rulings for renewals will depend on the efforts being made to place the license and/or the reasons for the inability to place the license.

Howard at work

Call me at 908-403-2718 or

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