Arizona Liquor License Application Process
Any person who wishes to sell spirituous liquor in Arizona must first apply at the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control for a state liquor license, including any new liquor establishments or any changes in ownership or location for an existing license. The Liquor Board will forward the application to the City for further processing. City staff will contact the applicant regarding fees and further processing requirements. No person shall engage or continue in the business of selling liquor within the City until the state and the city have approved and issued licenses.
State law requires the El Mirage City Council to make a recommendation of “approval” or “denial” to the Dept. of Liquor on each license application. Except for temporary, special event liquor licenses, the El Mirage City Council makes only non-binding recommendations on license applications. In other words, even if the City Council makes a recommendation to deny a license, the State Liquor Board has the legal authority to make the final determination on whether to approve or deny the license.
The City of El Mirage posts a sign on the proposed business premises, notifying citizens of a liquor license application, for a period of 20 days prior to the City Council making its recommendation to the State Liquor Board.
If the City Council recommends approval of a license application, the Dept. of Liquor will ordinarily issue the license without further action by the city. However, state law allows any person who resides or who owns or leases property within one mile of the applicant’s premises to request a hearing before the State Liquor Board on the application. Any person who wishes to request such a hearing should contact the State Liquor Board (not the city) concerning the correct procedures. The City of El Mirage has no control or authority over the processing of a license application after the City Council makes its recommendation to the State Liquor Board.
If the City Council recommends denial of a liquor license, the State Liquor Board will schedule a hearing on the application, at which time a city representative and the applicant may present their cases. The City Attorney’s Office represents El Mirage at all hearings before the State Liquor Board. However, the City Attorney’s Office does not represent individual residents or neighborhood groups at State Liquor Board hearings.
- For further information concerning the city’s licensing role and process, please call the City Clerk’s Office at (623) 876-2943.
- For further information concerning the Dept. of Liquor’s licensing role and process, please call the Dept. of Liquor at (602) 542-5141.
- For further information concerning the State Liquor Board’s licensing role and process, please call the State Liquor Board at (602) 542-9029. Or visit the Arizona Dept. of Liquor Licenses and Control web site.