Guides

Obtaining a liquor permit

Department of Commerce SealThinking about starting a business that involves liquor sales, or adding liquor sales to an existing business? Here are some of the basics of filing for a liquor permit in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Liquor Control Division is the state agency responsible for liquor licensing.  They issue new licenses and annual renewals, as well as transfers, for the 25,000 private Ohio businesses that are alcohol manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and organizers of special events where alcohol is sold.

There are several different types of liquor permits depending on use, and a limited number of each type of liquor permit is available to each county/city based on population. A complete list and explanation of what is covered under each specific permit can be found here. You can check the availability of the permit you would like to request here, and search the database of permit holders here.

Once you have determined which permit you will need and its availability, you can fill out an application. There are two applications: new bar, restaurant or carryout (application here) and all other types of permits (application here). The Division provides a complete guide to the application process here.

Special permits available in downtown Tiffin:

In 2013, the City of Tiffin established a Community Revitalization District with the Division of Liquor Control, which created 15 liquor permits available within the downtown Tiffin district. These D-5L permits are restricted to the approved district and carry several requirements, the most notable of which is that the establishment be a retail food or food service business, serving beverages by the glass for consumption on premises, and whose food/meal receipts total at least 75% of sales. The addresses included in the district can be found here, and the requirements, as stated by the Ohio Revised Code, here.

How to start a food business in Tiffin

Phat CakesWith the influx of new businesses in Tiffin, many of which are food related, we would like to provide information on starting that process. This is a guide describing the steps to opening your food business. This process is required for starting a new food or beverage establishment, a remodeled or altered establishment, when there is a change of ownership or when an establishment has been closed for more than a year.

1. How to Begin: In the Guide to Starting a Food Business you will find a complete description of the process, time frame, fee schedule, additional permit contacts, required equipment and a final inspection checklist.

2. The Application: The business owner must fill out a Review Application.

3. Submission: To obtain your license, you must submit a set of plans, the completed application and plan review fees to the Seneca County General Health District (SCGHD), which has 30 days to review those items. When plans are approved, the owner must contact the SCGHD to set up a pre-licensing inspection.

4. Pre-licensing Inspection: This inspection will take place after all equipment is in place, cleaning is done and all required inspections are completed by the building, plumbing, electrical and fire agencies.

Please see the Program Guidelines for all of the rules and regulations and/or contact Nicki Rumaschlag with the SCGHD at 419.447.3691 ext. 348 with any questions you may have.