Alcohol Beverage Laws for Retailers - Licenses

  1. ​​​​ What does an alcohol beverage license allow?

  2. Are licenses and permits the same thing?

  3. What types of alcohol beverage licenses are there?

  4. I've heard that some licenses are very expensive. Is that true?

  5. May a municipality refund the reserve "Class B" initial issuance fee paid by the licensee?

  6. How are quotas and reserve licenses determined?

  7. I want specific information about licensing. Where do I go?

  8. How do I apply for an alcohol beverage license?

  9. What are the basic qualifications for a person to get a license?

  10. Can I get an alcohol beverage license if I have a criminal record?

  11. Are licensing qualifications different if I incorporate?

  12. Does the licensee or the agent always have to be at the premises when it is open for business?

  13. How do I qualify for an operator's license?

  14. What are responsible beverage server training courses?

  15. What exceptions are there to the server training course requirement?

Applicable Laws and Rules

This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of October 12, 2023: ch. 125, ​ ​Wis. Stats.

Laws enacted and in effect after this date, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to this date, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, according to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.

​​​​Contact Us​

MS 6-40
Wisconsin Department of Revenue​
Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement
PO Box 8933
Madison, WI 53708-8933
Phone: (608) 266-6701
Fax: (608) 261-6240
Email: ​​

The department welcomes your input on our guidance. ​ ​Submit comments on this guidance document.

Guidance Document Number: 100011

October 12​, 2023​