Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How Pennsylvania's Act 39 affects business owners

It is well known among business owners in Pennsylvania that liquor licenses and permits are some of the most complicated pieces of running a service industry business. However in 2016 The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PCLB) became a lot easier to work with when they began accepting requests for various new licenses and permits under the state's Act 39.

Last year, the state launched PCLB+, an online licensing platform that enables requests for licenses and permits for many service-oriented businesses like restaurants, casinos, and bars. Under Act 39, a new Office of Wholesale Operations was also created to work with large-volume wine distributors. 

The new permissions and fees of Act 39

Local business owners and operators may find it beneficial to talk to an attorney before proceeding with obtaining one or more of the licenses listed below. Act 39 is new and will no doubt be tested by those who take advantage of it. Here is a list of what is covered under this new legislation.

  • Expanded wine permits, including "wine-to-go" sales
  • Conversions of "eating plate" licenses to restaurant licenses
  • Casino liquor license permissions to include the allowance of 24/7 service
  • Elimination of the state's previous direct wine shipper license, now allowing up to 36 cases annually
  • Those previously listed under the category of "direct wine shippers" may now receive new licenses as wineries and wine producers

The PCLB+ can be accessed by a licensee or new business by registering on the website with an access code. There are many requirements for obtaining and maintaining legal licensure under Act 39, which is why an attorney may be necessary for correctly interpreting the PCLB's Act 39 of 2016.

Who benefits from my taxes paid?

New business owners should know that the PCLB has many facets that go beyond just licensing and permitting. The taxes and fees paid by businesses help to support the state, including its schools, law enforcement programs, public safety and health and human services. In other words, fees paid to the PCLB are for the overall betterment of the state's citizens.

If you are operating a business that would like to take advantage of these changes to Pennsylvania's liquor licensing law, you should probably do more than just read what's on the PCLB website. Liquor licensing and permitting is a complex process, and many businesses stay afloat with liquor sales. Losing a license can put your business in deep trouble. A short meeting with an attorney can prevent many headaches for you and your business.

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Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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