Wondering about liquor license objections?

Objections to a license application.

Advertising for objections and the lodging of objections plays a crucial part of the liquor license application. Objections to your license application causes delays and in some cases even stop your application process. We spend time and effort during our first consultation to determine if you may have problems with objections.

The obvious problems are easily manageable, but in some cases it takes some work. In the this post you will get some insight into liquor license objections.

Liquor license objections

What is an objection?

A liquor license objection may be a single or multiple reasons supplied by any person, in effort to prevent a liquor license from being granted.

Where does objections come from?

Objections to a proposed liquor license originates from any natural person, that lodge their objection to the  local Liquor Authorities. Objections have to be reduced to writing.

In what stage of the application may objections be lodged?

Public participation is part of the license application process. During the stage of Public Participation and advertising any party that has an interest can object.

On the day of lodging the liquor license application with the police, you must have a 1meter x 1meter sign placed on the entrance of the premises applying for the license.

The sign must be black and white, contain key information about the license application and furthermore be visible to the public for a minimum time of 21 working days.

At the same time the proposed liquor license application must appear in the local news paper on the lodging day.

How must objections be lodged by objectors?

An objector may lodge the objections in personal capacity or appoint an attorney as a representative.The objection must be reduced to writing and in accordance to the legal guidelines. This mean that applications must once again key information about the objecting person/s.

Once a person want to object a license, they have the right to visit the liquor officer to inspect the complete liquor license application and motivation.

The objection then states the points in the application motivation that gives birth to the objection. Following the aforesaid statement/s must be the reasons and argument about why the liquor license must not be approved.

Objection hearing

How does the liquor authorities handle objections?

At the end of the twenty-one (21) days allowed by law, for objectors to lodge their objections, the local liquor office will arrange a hearing.

The hearing follows a strict format and requires a selected board.The board must be present in full, to host a legal objection hearing. The board present at these objection hearings must consist of , representatives from the local municipal council, local police and members of the liquor board.

The entire hearing is audio recorded and placed on record together with the notes of all the representatives present.

The hearing starts by everyone introducing themselves and stating who they represent. The chairperson heads the hearing and usually starts by hearing the objectors presentation first. If an applicant makes use of a legal representative, like an attorney, only the representative will be allowed to speak on record. After hearing the objectors presentation of the objections, the board may ask questions and place notes on record that may influence their final decision.

Once the board is satisfied with the objectors representation, the applicant will be allowed to present their argument. The procedure stays the same. The board members listens closely to the applicant’s defense and then go ahead with questions.

At the time when the board feels they have enough information to make a decision, the hearing is ended.

The board then sit in private and come to a decision with regards to the information presented in the hearing and the application. At this time the board have the power to override the objections, or first do physical inspections at the proposed premises or they may decide to not allow the application to go further.

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How does the liquor consultant handle objections?

Without any objections, the liquor license application will go on through the remainder of the application process as usual. Our agreement and costing does not, as per our quotations, include work with regards to objections. We do handle all our clients objections. This mean that further costs will be invoiced according to the nature of the objection/s.

Us, at Liquoract.com, start the preparation with a thorough study of the lodged objection. This study then gives us the problem areas. We then formulate a defense, taking all the relevant laws and factors into consideration. As we complete the defense we will handle all the required arrangements with regards to the hearing.

The day of the hearing we represent the client, who also attend the hearing. We do not guarantee the results of the hearing in any way as the board have the full power to come to any reasonable conclusion the deem proper to the license application.

How does the objection hearing influence the license application?

The conclusion to the objection hearing may result in various answers, the worst case scenario being the license application to be canceled and no license to be issued by the board.

Other results may include conditions being attached to the liquor license. A sample of these conditions will include:

  • Alterations to the proposed premises
  • Restricted trading hours
  • Restrictions to products
  • Restrictions to the audience catered for
  • And many more.

The best case scenario will be when the board decides to override the objections. In some cases the board may first conduct inspections to the premises, before making a decision. But the best answer is the override of objections. This allows for the liquor license application process to continue as normal.We have to date a 100% success rate with objection hearings.

Conclusion to objections.

Objections may be lodged against any license application, but in the end of the day, we know the law and know that any entrepreneur deserves the right to successfully trade. This creates job opportunities and yield all over positive results.

The liquor authority is part of the Government Department of Economic Development and therefore allowing new licenses is advantages on may levels.

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