The state has rewritten the rule pertaining to the escrow period of a Florida liquor license. As it was before, once a licensee is issued a new license or received a license through transfer, they have six months to be active and open for business. Once in business, they should be operating at least eight hours a day for at least 210 days or more during any 12 month period. If a business is not abiding by these rules, the state has grounds for revocation or suspension of the alcoholic beverage license.
As far as what has been changed with the escrow rule, the division is giving one-time waivers for a 12 month period as long as the license was acquired in an arms length transaction. This means that it cannot be transferred from a relative, affiliate, or other related entity. In order to obtain the one time waiver for escrow, the licensee must demonstrate that:
1. The licensed location has been physically damaged to the degree that active operation of the business in impracticable;
2. Construction or remodeling is underway to relocate the license to another location;
3. The licensed premises has been prohibited from making sales as the result of any order from the court