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How Much is a Liquor License in Michigan? Your 2024 Guide

How Much is a Liquor License in Michigan

If you’re planning to venture into a business in Michigan involving serving alcohol, you must understand the requirements and costs of obtaining a liquor license.

But how much is a liquor license in Michigan? The costs vary based on the liquor license type and the business’s nature.

So for a clear view, let us explain more about the types of liquor licenses and their costs.

10 Michigan Liquor Licenses & Their Fees

Liquor Store

1. Class A

With a Class A, you can sell beer and wine for consumption on-site.

“There are only two real ways to get ahead today – sell liquor or drink it.” – W. C. Fields, American Actor

The inspection fee is $70, and particularly for hotels, the fee is around $250/20 rooms, with an additional $1/excess room.

2. Class B

You must acquire Class B if you want to sell beer, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks for on-premises consumption (hotel, bar, or restaurant).

The inspection fee is $70, and the license and permit fee is around $600/20 rooms, with an additional $3 per excess room.

3. Class C License

If you want to market a broad range of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks, you’ll need this.

Be it for your bar or restaurant; the permit fee is around $600, and the inspection fee of $70.

4. Specially Designated Distributor

This license permits alcohol sales at retail in the original packaging for off-premise consumption. The inspection fee is $70, and the permit fee is $150.

5. Micro Brewer

Craft breweries producing limited quantities of beer [1] can apply for this license. The initial fee is around $50 and $100 for the renewal fee. The inspection fee is $70 up to $140 for a license transfer.

6. Brew Pub

As per Michigan’s liquor laws, breweries that want to serve their own beer on-site along with other alcoholic beverages must have a Brew Pub License.

The fees include a $70 inspection fee and a $100 permit fee. There may be additional fees based on additional licenses requested alongside the Brew Pub license.

7. Small Distiller

For distilleries producing a limited amount of alcohol, Michigan law requires a Small Distiller License. A new license costs around $100, which is way lower than Distiller License, costing approximately $1000.

Michigan Liquor Control Commission issued this to allow a distiller to manufacture alcohol in a licensed facility.

8. Club

If you want to operate a private club or organization and sell alcoholic beverages to members for on-premise consumption, you must obtain a Club License.

The initial fee is around $300 for 150 members, with $1 per additional member. For 600 members and up, you must submit a membership list, with a fee of around $750 or so.

9. Resort

For a resort to serve beer and sell alcohol to the guests, this license is required. As per Michigan’s liquor laws, the fees involved a $70 inspection fee and an initial fee of around $20,000.

Additional charges apply based on other business licenses required.

10. Special License for Special Events

The fees vary depending on the season.

  • April 15-September 30 (During Peak Season): Starts at $100 to $400
  • January 1-April 14/October 1-December 31 (Outside Peak Season): Starts at $50 to $500

Related Posts:

7 Michigan Liquor Licenses That Pay Taxes 

Man Holding a Paper

1. Microbrewer

It has a tax rate of $6.30 per barrel.

2. Direct Shipper

State laws require the direct shipper license holders to settle a sales tax of 6%. If you’re dealing with wine, the excise tax amounts to $.20 to $1.35 per liter, with a 1500-case per year limit.

3. Brewpub

As per Michigan Liquor Control Commission, the excise tax costs around $2 per barrel if your business produces not more than 50,000 barrels yearly.

4. Mixed Spirit Drink Manufacturer

The tax for Mixed Spirit Drink Manufacturer license varies depending on your sales to MLCC-licensed wholesalers and retailers and on-premise consumption sales (covering tastings and samplings.)

5. Wholesaler

The MLCC licensing office sets the tax rates as follows:

  • $.48 per liter on Mixed Spirit Drink
  • $.20-$135 per liter for Wine
  • $6.30 per barrel for beer

6. Brewer

Apart from the initial fee in the liquor license application process, it has an excise tax of $6.30 per barrel. For renewal applications, expect a $100 liquor license application fee.

7. Winemaker

A Winemaker permit tax amounts to $.20-$.135 per wine liter, based on the law and regulations set by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs MLLC.

Michigan’s Liquor Licenses Cheat Sheet (TABLE)

License Type


Class A License


Class B License


Class C License


Specially Designated Distributor License


Micro Brewer License

$50 ($100, renewal)

Brew Pub License


Small Distiller License


Club License


Resort License


Special License for Special Events


Understanding Michigan’s Liquor License Requirements & Laws

judge gavel, golden scale, and book

When applying for a liquor license [2], there are specific requirements and laws you must adhere to, which may include:

  • Zoning restrictions
  • Background checks (requires your company or business address and other general information)
  • Financial disclosures of the business
  • Compliance with local ordinances

“Sip wisdom, savor spirits; Michigan’s liquor licenses unlock opportunity.” – Liquor Laboratory

Besides, those granted the necessary on-premise permits are obliged to present the following signs based on state law and regulations:

  • Age sign
  • Under 21 penalty sign
  • Concealed carry

How To Get A Liquor License

Obtaining an alcohol license in the State of Michigan involves several steps, such as:

  1. Determining the license type you need based on your company or business model
  2. Preparing the necessary documents, including financial statements and your business plan
  3. Submitting your application to the MLCC and paying the appropriate fees and taxes
  4. Awaiting clearance from the commission, which may take several weeks to months.

FAQs Related to How Much is a Liquor License in Michigan?

Is it hard to get any liquor license in Michigan?

It can be hard to acquire a liquor license in Michigan due to the requirements that need to be met, fees that need to be paid (in line with the law), and the long waiting process.

Do I need a liquor license to serve alcohol at a private party in Michigan?

Yes, you will need a special license for a one-time private event where alcoholic beverages are served. You must abide by the law so you’re application will be approved.

What types of liquor licenses are available in Michigan?

Michigan offers various types of liquor licenses, including licenses for restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, retail stores, breweries, and wineries.

What factors influence the cost of a liquor license in Michigan?

Several factors influence the cost of a liquor license in Michigan, including the type of license, the population density of the area, the demand for licenses, and the specific regulations of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).

Do liquor license prices vary depending on the county in Michigan?

Yes, liquor license prices can vary significantly depending on the county within Michigan. Counties may have different quota systems, demand for licenses, and local regulations that impact license prices.

Are there additional costs associated with obtaining a liquor license in Michigan?

In addition to the purchase price of the liquor license, applicants may need to pay various fees, including application fees, processing fees, background check fees, and legal fees.

Can I lease or rent a liquor license in Michigan?

Yes, it’s possible to lease or rent a liquor license in Michigan, although the terms and availability may vary. Leasing can be a more affordable option for businesses that cannot afford to purchase a license outright.

On A Final Note

The liquor license cost in Michigan varies depending on the type and business model. It costs around $50 to $20,000, with additional charges and renewal fees.

The process can be time-consuming, considering many factors for application approval. Besides, according to state law, certain licenses incorporating taxes must be paid.

So whether you want to operate restaurants, bars, liquor stores, events, and other businesses serving alcoholic drinks, the law requires you to secure a license to be approved, depending on your compliance.


  1. Beer Alcoholic Beverage
  2. How to Get a Liquor License (+ 2 Other Bar Licenses You’ll Need)
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