Kentucky ABC


The Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is in charge of administering and enforcing Kentucky’s alcoholic beverage laws. The Kentucky ABC also processes liquor applications and issues liquor licenses. In addition, there are city and county,  ABC administrators throughout Kentucky. These local administrators must approve all license applications before they will be reviewed by the state ABC.


New Kentucky ABC laws went into effect as of July 25, 2013. There are many different license types. Most licenses pertain to distilled spirits (liquor) and wine or to malt beverages (beer). Not all licenses are available statewide.


 A temporary license may be issued for an organized charitable, civic, or community sponsored event such as a fundraiser, fair, festival, exposition, political campaign function, or other party.  A temporary license allows the holder to exercise the same privileges as an ABC license holder at a fraction of the cost.


Kentucky ABC Licensing And Enforcement


For most businesses, the key issues in alcoholic beverage law are acquiring and maintaining the proper licenses, and properly handling enforcement of applicable laws by state and federal regulatory authorities, such as the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The attorneys at Sutton Law assist businesses in:


  • Obtaining the correct liquor license
  • Maintaining the license and avoiding violations
  • Communication and cooperation with the Kentucky ABC
  • Impact of changes of ownership on existing licenses
  • Defense against allegations of illegal alcohol sales due to lack of proper licenses, expired liquor licenses and sales to minors.


Questions Clients May Have:


  •  If the application is completed and all required attachments are concluded, will a liquor license be issued?
  • Who may obtain a Kentucky liquor license?
  •  How much will the license cost?
  •  How long does it take to obtain a Kentucky liquor license?
  •  Will one license cover the entire business establishment?
  •  As the new owner of a business that previously sold alcoholic beverages, may I continue to use the former establishment’s license until it expires?

If you wish to talk with one of our attorneys call Sutton Law at 859-578-6600 or contact us online to discuss your legal matter and learn about your options.

Free initial consultation with our attorneys 

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