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Missouri Video Gaming Industry

How to Get a Liquor License in Missouri

May 25, 2021

For many prospective bar and restaurant owners in Missouri, obtaining a Missouri liquor license can be a huge undertaking. Luckily, with a little advance preparation, getting your liquor license in Missouri doesn’t need to be a problem!


Types of Missouri Liquor Licenses for Bars and Restaurants

There are multiple types of liquor licenses available for Missouri establishments looking to serve or sell liquor, but only a few are applicable for Missouri bar and restaurant owners. Specifically, these are known as “By Drink” licenses, and include:

  • Beer By the Drink License (Beer – Includes Sunday Sales)
  • Beer and Light Wine By Drink
    • You need a special secondary license in order to serve on Sundays.
  • Retail By the Drink License (Spirits, Wine and Beer)
    • You need a special secondary license in order to serve on Sundays.  
    • There is also a version of this license for qualified Tax Exempt organizations.
  • Retail Liquor By the Drink Resort License (Spirits, Wine and Beer)
    • Resorts must be located in unincorporated areas that do not allow by the drink sales, and must have at least 30 overnight guest rooms, among other qualifications.
    • There are also temporary and seasonal versions of this license.


Retail By the Drink License (Spirits, Wine and Beer)

This license is the most applicable for most bar and restaurant owners looking to start an establishment in Missouri. The Retail By the Drink License (Spirits, Wine and Beer) allows retailers to serve liquor by the drink for consumption on the license premises. This license allows retailer to operate between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. In order to operate on Sundays, you must obtain a separate Sunday license.


Required Documents

As you begin your application for your new Missouri liquor license, the following information is helpful to have on hand:

  • Sales tax number, Secretary of State File Number
  • Photographs, identifying information, ownership interest, voter registration information, and home addresses for the past 10 years of all owners, officers and partners of the location
  • A photograph of the location to be licensed
  • Measurements from the location to the nearest school, church or place used for religious worship
  • Rental or ownership information regarding the location
  • Seller information, date purchased and amount paid for business if it was purchased
  • Banking information

You will need to complete the application and answer a number of different disclosure-related questions including questions regarding the criminal background of all owners of the location. The application must be notarized once completed.  


There are also a few additional documents that you will need in connection with your application:

  • License fee made payable to the Missouri Director of Revenue
  • S. passport or Certificate of Naturalization (if any owners/officers were born outside the U.S.)
  • Criminal record check
    • This needs to be obtained for the owner (if solely owned), all partners (if a partnership), the managing officer (of an LLC or corporation), and all officers/directors and owners of 10% or more in the applicant.
  • Missouri Retail Sales Tax License
  • Certificate of No Tax Due
  • Tax receipt
    • Paid personal property tax or real estate tax receipt for preceding year
  • Voter registration card
  • Photo of all owners, partners and managing officers (if not already included in the application)
  • Photo of the front of the building and any/all outdoor seating areas (if not already included in the application)
  • Copy of signed leases, deed or rental agreement for establishment
  • Certificate of Good Standing – not applicable to sole proprietors or general partnerships
  • Resort certifications and/or verification of gross receipts – required only if applying for full liquor by the drink in certain areas
  • Health inspection


If you are looking for more information about liquor licenses, we suggest you contact your local district office or visit the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol & Tobacco Control website. There you can find copies of all of the forms you will need to complete your application.


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