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Club License

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New Jersey Club Liquor License Attorney

N.J.S.A. 33:1-12

If you are a member at a beach club, golf club, VFW, American Legion Post or come other organization, you may be familiar with the liquor license known as a “Club License.” Under N.J.S.A. 33:1-12, a “Club License” is one that is issued by a municipality to a “corporation, association or organization that is non-profit and operating for benevolent, charitable, fraternal, social, religious, recreational, athletic or similar purposes”. The requirements to own a Club License are strict but fairly straightforward. Club Licenses are valuable workarounds to New Jersey’s population caps for liquor licenses because Club Licenses are not subject to this restriction. Nevertheless, a Club License is still subject to approval by the local governing council or ABC Board. Understanding the complexities of ABC regulations and licensing laws is imperative for any individual or group seeking to obtain a liquor license in New Jersey.

For assistance and representation with your licensing or compliance efforts, contact the ABC liquor law attorneys at (732) 858-5857. Our Alcoholic Beverage Law Practice is headed by former Deputy Attorney General of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, William C. Fay, IV, Esq. He will gladly assist you in any matter relevant to your liquor license.

What are the Privileges and Restrictions of a Club License?

The privileges of a Club License include the ability of the club/organization to sell and serve alcoholic beverages but only for immediate consumption on the licensed premises and only to bona fide club members and their guests.  Under ABC regulations, a “club member” is considered to be any individual in good standing who has been admitted to voting membership in the manner regularly prescribed by the by-laws of the club, who maintains such membership in a bona fide manner and whose name and address is listed on the list of members. Moreover, members cannot be admitted “on-the-spot.” Instead there is a minimum three-day time limit for admission into the club. Persons who are members of an organization of which the club license is an affiliated chapter and where the organization’s members have reciprocal privileges in any affiliated club, may be considered guests of the club licensee itself and may therefore purchase and consume alcoholic beverages on the club licensed premises.

One of the most frequently violated regulations is that of “bona fide guest” consumption. While Club Licenses may serve alcohol to guests of bona fide members, there are restrictions. Specifically, each club member is only permitted nine (9) guests on the premises at any one time (the exception to this is private parties hosted by the club member). Also, these guests must be invited to the club licensed premises by an individual bona fide member of the club and sponsored by and personally attended by the member at the premises.

Can I Hold Events at a Club Liquor License?

Depending on the event taking place, a Club License may or may not be able to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Specifically, if the club license chooses to hold a fundraiser which would be open to the public or individuals who are not bona fide members, than they club may not sell or serve alcoholic beverages (exception is if the club obtains a Social Affair Permit). Alternatively, where a bona fide member of the club hosts a private function on the licensed premises, than alcoholic beverages may be sold or served. These types of private events include weddings, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, baptisms or other social functions.

Liquor License Attorneys in New Brunswick NJ

For immediate consultation regarding your club license, contact the ABC attorneys at Proetta & Oliver by calling (732) 858-5857 today.

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