The Cost of an Illinois Liquor License Just Went Up.

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As we've written before, sometimes licensing can take months. As part of the planning, sorting, compiling, and negotiation that comes with applying for a license, we normally like to get checks cut to the City and State far ahead of submitting the completed application. Normally we are pretty accurate when it comes to what fees you will pay to the City and State.

So it came as quite a shock on September 1, 2016, when I went to turn in a check for a liquor license application that we had been working on for months to Illinois Liquor Control Commission. They told me, "Our prices just went up! TODAY!"

They never make it easy, do they?

You can click the link for the new fee schedule, but here are a couple highlights for two common licenses:

  • RETAILER: Was $500. Now it's $750.
  • CATERER: Was $200. Now it's $500.

That's quite a jump in prices!

One thing that will ease the pain a little is that renewal fees did not go up quite as much...but there is a catch: in order to get the discounted renewal fee you have to renew online. There is a big movement to have liquor licensees complete renewals at This actually makes some sense because most businesses take care of their taxes on that site anyway.

Still, when prices go up, it always stings.

by Daniel Rubinow, Principal Attorney

License Law Group



Daniel Rubinow