Liquor License Issuance and Local Requirements

Posted on April 30, 2012 by Dene Westbrook

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has alerted the League that they are changing philosophy a bit on the issuance of liquor licenses.  The current MLCC Board members have reviewed the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) for the Liquor Code and are adjusting policies to ensure that their actions reflect Michigan law.

They are treating the granting of liquor licenses as just that – granting a piece of paper that allows a person to sell alcohol.  The are no longer requiring evidence of local approvals (zoning permits, building permits, food service checks, etc.) for business owners before issuing liquor licenses, as was done in the past. That being said, they are putting language on the application and license specifying that issuance of a liquor license DOES NOT substitute for local approvals and that applicants must still comply with all state and local requirements before being able to open and operate a business.  If applicants do not have local approvals, they will have a certificate to sell alcohol, but will not be able to have the place of business open and operating.

MLCC has added the following language to the applications and licenses:

“the licensee must be in compliance with Commission Rule 436.1003, which states that a licenses shall comply with all state and local building, plumbing, zoning, sanitation, and health laws, rules and ordinances as determined by the state and locals law enforcement officials who have jurisdiction over the licensees.  Issuance of this license by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission does not waive this requirement.”

MLCC members are seeking the League’s input as to the above language.  If you think that there needs to be more specific language or something else in the language, please email me and we will make the request for it to be inserted.


Andy Schor is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. Contact him at (517) 908-0300 or by email at [email protected]. 

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