Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Getting a Liquor License

How to Get a Liquor License

Step 1: Get Application Forms

All the License and Permit Application Forms you need are available online. You can also contact the Liquor Licensing Division at 624-7220 to request applications.

Step 2: Complete Application

For an On-Premise License (Bar, Restaurant, Hotel, Etc.)

A complete On-Premise License application requires municipal approval on the fourth page of the form. Approval will be granted, or not, once the municipality holds a public hearing to decide the matter.

Title 28-A §653[1B] requires an applicant to advertise his or her pending application in the local/weekly newspaper for 3 consecutive days prior to hearing date, allowing the public to voice any objection.

For a Retail or Off-Premise License

Retail and Off-Premise license applications do not require municipal approval, if the territory in question is unorganized.

A $10.00 Filing Fee must be paid at the County Commissioner's Office for this application. A receipt of this fee being paid must accompany the application to Liquor Licensing.

Step 3: Submit Application

It is important that an application mailed to Liquor Licensing includes a check for the appropriate license fees.

Step 4: Once Application and Fees Received

Processing applications includes a background investigation on the applicant conducted by a Liquor Licensing inspector. If he or she is eligible for a liquor license, the inspector will set up a date and time for an inspection of the premises.

The Inspection will consist of:

  • Approving the designated area for sale and/or consumption
  • Checking all other required licenses (see Required Permit List (PDF))
  • Check for necessary and required equipment applicable to license

If all requirements are met, the inspector will issue the applicant a temporary license allowing purchases and sales of liquors.

Step 5: Once Approved

Routine Inspections

Inspections of a licensee's premise are conducted unannounced and will be especially focused on:

  • Presence of a Posted Liquor License
  • Food Inventory (if required under a particular license)
  • Liquid Inventory
  • Records of Business including, but not limited to:
    • Liquor and Food Purchases and Sales
    • Completed Affidavits from Employees
    • Operating Hours
    • Seating Capacity
  • Any Live Entertainment with Dancing


If a violation is discovered, the inspector will take the appropriate action. A licensee may only receive an official warning, or could be referred for prosecution. If a licensee is cited for a violation, there will be an opportunity to resolve the issue through a consent decree. However, if no agreement can be made, the matter will be handled by the District Court.