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New On-Premise License

Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for processing a new beer, wine or liquor license application from the time all documents are submitted until the license certificate is issued by the State of Iowa 

  APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS - Please follow these steps in the order listed:

1. To submit your license application online, go to the State of Iowa’s website The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Electronic Licensing and Permitting System (Iowa ABD eLAPS) “Applicant Quick Reference Guide” is available on the website. Be sure to follow the instructions for submitting a NEW application. Contact Iowa ABD with questions at (866) 469-2223 (Select option 1 to speak with a Licensing Specialist).
Please carefully read the questions from the “Criminal History” screen of the online application and provide answers as requested. Failure to disclose all incidents can result in denial of your application.
If you have listed any criminal history on your application, provide a copy of the disposition of court and any related documentation.

2. Please provide the following document to [email protected] to begin the approval process.
Confidential Addendum 
This form requests background information and proof of financial responsibility. New applicants must provide financial statement (bank statement or balance sheet) along with the form. The form must also be submitted annually with the renewal application.
600-foot distance requirement affidavit (unless exempt) 
Sketch of premise - including living quarters if applicable
Please provide a clearly marked sketch, listing location of the items on the “Premises” screen of the online application. Mark accurate measurements, as your license fees are based on square footage. You must request an outdoor area privilege if you will allow consumption of alcoholic beverages outside the licensed premises, such as picnic table, porch, deck, patio, beer garden, etc. Retain a copy for your records
Sketch of outdoor service area - if applicable.   
Please draw the boundaries of the outdoor area. The area must include an entryway connecting the building directly into the outdoor area. The outdoor area cannot be separated from the building by parking or other space. Boundaries of an outdoor area must be easily identifiable using visible above-ground structure (such as permanent or temporary fencing, barricades, planters, etc.). Retain a copy for your records.

3. The application information will be routed to the Zoning, Fire, Police and Building Departments for review. When all department recommendations have been received by the Revenue Division, your application will be placed on the Committee of the Whole agenda for City Council approval before processing by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.  
***Note: Council agenda is set two weeks prior to each meeting and meetings are held twice per month.

4. The following items are not required at the same time you submit your license application. However, they are required before your license can be processed by the State.
Dram shop liability insurance verification 
The insurance company must verify coverage for your online renewal application. The effective dates must run concurrently with the effective dates of the license. It is not necessary to provide a copy of the dram certificate to the City.
Lease agreement, warranty deed or final sales contract for the premise (building).
Purchase agreements cannot be accepted. Please remember that, except under certain circumstances, the State will not back-date a license to an effective date prior to City Council approval and processing of the application and license, nor prior to the effective date of a lease or ownership of the building.

5. When all of the above steps are completed, the City will endorse your license application for processing by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.   

6. Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division will email your new license to the email address provided on your online application. Please print and post the license at the licensed premise.

Click here for other license requirements and resources