Idaho Liquor License and Insurance Requirements

Selling alcoholic beverages has a very high-profit margin and can be great for your establishment’s bottom line, but doing so requires specific licensing that entails specific knowledge of Idaho laws. Here we’ll outline how to get a liquor license in Idaho and the types of insurance you should consider carrying.

How long does liquor licensing take?

The state of Idaho has a quota system based on city population for how it distributes liquor-by-the-drink licenses. An incorporated city starts with two licenses and has access to additional licenses for every additional 1,500 residents. Due to this system, acquiring a liquor-by-the-drink license in Idaho can take years. If you’re opening a new restaurant or bar, it is wise to start the licensing process sooner rather than later. Applications are processed within 90 days of submission, and if you are approved you will be put on a waitlist until a license becomes available.

Where do you apply for a liquor license?

Applications can be obtained from the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) and should also be submitted to ABC along with all required forms.

What do you need to apply for a liquor license?

To apply for a liquor license, you must complete an application and provide a variety of additional forms and materials, including:

  • A copy of your retail beer license
  • Fingerprint cards and fees towards a background check for everyone included in the application
  • A copy of your lease or proof that you own the property where alcohol is going to be served
  • A description of the property and zoning approval proof
  • A copy of your county or city building occupancy permit
  • A copy of the most up-to-date health department inspection
  • A copy of the menu with items priced individually, if food is sold
  • Information, including names and addresses, of everyone with financial interest in the business
  • A copy of your business entity’s registration, i.e. corporation, LLC, etc.
  • Financial statements for each individual included in the application as well as the business

What type of insurance should you carry?

Liquor liability coverage protects businesses in the case that someone is injured as a result of the sale of alcohol or someone being intoxicated. A liquor liability insurance policy is available under our commercial general liability insurance.

Protect your establishment with a comprehensive business insurance policy that protects against a range of risks from property damage to loss of income by contacting your local FBMICI agent.

Disclaimer: The information included here is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts.


Idaho Government Website ABC