New in business help needed w/IRS and alcohol license

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Hello, First I want to introduce myself my name is Juan Carlos Morales, I'm starting my catering company, named Chicama Catering, Inc. and I will like to mention how grateful I am with this forum, I had learned so much in so little time. I don't have any culinary school, but since I was little my passion was cooking. I don't have any experience in catering, my first idea was opening a restaurant, but I don't have the resources. Then I opted to start my culinary venture with catering. I really don't have the experience, but I'm not afraid to work and learn. I've been researching and reading all your threads and they had been very good to me.
 
I already registered with the State of Florida, next I was trying to do the IRS part to get my EIN#, and one of the initial question ask "Does your business sell or manufacture alcohol, tobacco" so my question is: If I'm contracted for an event and I rent a bar and contract a bar tender for the event it is required to have a liquor license or how does it work, also what should I answer to the IRS question. Any advice is appreciated

Thank you,
Juan Carlos Morales
 
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NO NO NO you only take the alcoholic beverage that the host of the party supplies you and has purchased on his own elsewhere. You do not buy it nor make it.. You do not want a liquor license.
 
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Thank you Ed, I had consulted with a financial advisor and he told me to get a liquor license, so thanks for your reply I was almost certain that I needed a liquor license.
 
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Ed why don't you elaborate on the pros and cons of liquor licenses, if you would please.
Chicama, what type/size business do you have or do you want to have?
 
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Juan - I hope you are not naive enough to take absolute advice from someone on a catering message board.  If you are, then you could be in for a world of hurt.  Buying a liquor license is a business decision from a cost, benefit and liability standpoint.  I would get some real information before making a decision.  And to answer your question, if you do not currently have a liquor license, you would answer "no" to the question.  If you apply down the road, it will be an involved process.  Go ahead and get the EIN (only takes a minute on the internet) and go from there.

Ed - seriously?  What business are you in?  And what gives you the impression that a liquor license is the wrong move for a startup?  Especially since you know nothing about the company in question.  And if you have information that would educate someone in Florida (like me) that buying a liquor license is a bad idea and there is a better way, I would love to hear about it.   Why don't I want a liquor license?

-Kevin
 
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Play nice please.  Ed has been in catering for many many years, mainly with very large companies.....his input is valuable to Cheftalk posters.

Kevin: Cheftalk was founded by some amazing chefs/cooking instructors, many have helmed white linen places in major cities...there's a wealth of information here, especially in the archives. 

*Respect is what makes this site different from so many others.....please respect the pros posting.  Does not mean you have to agree, just means play nice.  Thanks. your catering moderator.
 
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I expect it's a liability issue.
I wouldn't jump at the chance to be liable for other people's drinking in a catered environment.
Of course, others may feel different.

Oh, and I am more apt to take the advice of a pro caterer than a financial advisor on this subject.
Again, that's just my 2 cents, spend it as you wish.
 
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Do I know aqnything about the catering business? I have been in it for 45 years .I ran the largest catering facility in the U.S by dollar volume 17 million gross per year 8 on premise ballrooms plus four  outside venues. 10000 patrons per week average, everything prepared from scratch .Never said I know restaurant business but catering and banquet cooking  thats another story.
       As far as the liquor goes. as Jim brings out in a startup it is not worth the liability attached.  WHY should you pay for a license by the year, unless you have enough parties on the books to warrant it. Why should you pay a higher insurance rate for the same reason?People do not call a caterer because he serves great liquor. It is because of his food, service and ability to get along with client.
     This young man involved in a startup should concentrate on the first, the rest will fall into place  later. I still say let the patron purchase the liquor. You supply the glassware, mixers and bartenders, rolling bars and service staff etc.You charge him for everything associated with dispensing the liquor,you will make out just as good. You since you did not supply the liquor are under no curfews or a lot of laws that a license involves ,because its his liquor and he purchased it.
     In New York by the way you can purchase a daily liquor license for off premise. Also a CTR. License is charged to the caterer not by the total premise, but by individual rooms. An RL license is for a entire premise (restaurant) . Go ahead and get all your other permits in place like . Employee ID , fed tax # , local health dept, county ,city ,state . etc.  Wait a while on liquor lic.Hope this answers some questions for some people.
 
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Play nice please.  Ed has been in catering for many many years, mainly with very large companies.....his input is valuable to Cheftalk posters.

Kevin: Cheftalk was founded by some amazing chefs/cooking instructors, many have helmed white linen places in major cities...there's a wealth of information here, especially in the archives. 

*Respect is what makes this site different from so many others.....please respect the pros posting.  Does not mean you have to agree, just means play nice.  Thanks. your catering moderator.
I am playing nice.  And I know who Ed is and what he has done and where he has been, but not everyone here does.  And I am sorry that you may have taken things the wrong way, but I don't feel that my challenging a response was violating the vibe of the board.  This was a serious question and deserved a serious answer.


      WHY should you pay for a license by the year, unless you have enough parties on the books to warrant it. Why should you pay a higher insurance rate for the same reason?People do not call a caterer because he serves great liquor. It is because of his food, service and ability to get along with client.
    
Perhaps he has a business plan in place and the capital available to purchase a liquor license and/or make it through the first year of business?  If he was speaking with a financial advisor, there is a chance that he has money in the bank. Plus, if you've already gotten a client because of your food (the toughest part of catering), then the liquor is an ad-on sale that can generate extra revenue.  More revenue = good.



Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN  

     This young man involved in a startup should concentrate on the first, the rest will fall into place  later. I still say let the patron purchase the liquor. You supply the glassware, mixers and bartenders, rolling bars and service staff etc.You charge him for everything associated with dispensing the liquor,you will make out just as good. You since you did not supply the liquor are under no curfews or a lot of laws that a license involves ,because its his liquor and he purchased it.
   

I don't believe that serving liquor without liability insurance is a good idea.  Just my 2 cents, but I have heard more stories about someone getting sued by over-serving liquor than caterers being sued for bad food. That doesn't mean I am willing to serve food without the proper liability insurance.   Regardless of who purchases the liquor, you can be liable if you are serving it.  I think the best advice is to speak with an insurance agent about the liability involved.



Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN  

     In New York by the way you can purchase a daily liquor license for off premise. Also a CTR. License is charged to the caterer not by the total premise, but by individual rooms. An RL license is for a entire premise (restaurant) . Go ahead and get all your other permits in place like . Employee ID , fed tax # , local health dept, county ,city ,state . etc.  Wait a while on liquor lic.Hope this answers some questions for some people.

The poster is located in Florida (as you are too).  Laws vary from state to state.  A 13CT license in Florida allows an off premise caterer to sell and serve alcohol at a function where they will also be serving food.  Doesn't matter how many rooms or venues you cater to.

I appreciate the response, as it helps to shed the light on the pros and cons of serving and providing liquor for a startup catering biz.

-Kevin
 
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Sure you have to have liability insurance for food production and dispensing  and  for  your own protection as well.. I simply am stating that with the liquor factor involved your insurance rates are higher..On premise catering the overall insurance rate is more. The public sees the elaborate decor , the chandeliers, the crystal and silver service, the plush carpeting and drapes They say to themselves  "WOW this place has a lot of $ lets sue for anything. God knows how many times I had to go to court in New York. In Florida never went.
 
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