Liquor license ownership.

UPDATED: Jun 17, 2009

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Liquor license ownership.

I recently sold a restaurant which included the liquor license (NJ). The sale has been completed but the buyer has not even applied for the license to claim ownership It is about to expire and I don’t want it to be lost – if I pay the renewal – would I have any right to keeping it or reselling it in the future?

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Business Law, New Jersey


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I doubt it.  If you've sold the restaurant, you have no place for the license to be;  if you've sold the license, you have no legal standing to renew it.  At the same time, if it does get lost for non-renewal, the buyer can't come crying to you about it, it's the buyer's fault.

If the buyer still owes you money, though, it might be a different situation, and in that case I'd advise you to talk to your lawyer about this as soon as possible.  If you don't already have one, you can call the bar association's Lawyer Referral Service listed in your telephone book, or check on our website,

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