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Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration

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Steps to Getting an Alcohol License

Steps to Getting an Alcohol License is a learning burst session (30-minutes or less) focused on helping entrepreneurs better understand the alcohol licensure application and issuance processes, selecting the appropriate form for your business, distinction between annual fees and renewal payments, timelines, and how to best leverage the expertise of ABCA’s in-house licensing specialists.

Key topics include:

  • Identifying the correct alcohol license needed based on business type and the corresponding application to complete.
  • Knowing which substantial changes in business operations, such as entertainment and dancing, a sidewalk café, or change in hours, require ABC Board approval.
  • Common mistakes and unintentional omissions to avoid.
  • Recent enhancements such as self-certification, electronic submission, and alternative payment methods.
  • Required supporting documentation, such as Clean Hands Certification, and how to request supplemental documentation from the issuing District Government agency.
  • General overview of the initial application to license issuance process.

A Q&A portion will conclude the presentation. For privacy purposes, questions pertaining to specific applications or businesses should be directed to [email protected].


  • Sarah Fashbaugh, Community Resource Officer, Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration
  • Karen Jackson, Licensing Officer, Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration


  • This session is ideal for prospective business owners interested in seeking an alcohol license, established license holders considering making a modification to their business operations, or designates, such as law firm employees, who may seek alcohol licenses on behalf of clients.


  • Language interpretation may be requested during registration and is subject to availability.

Please note that this presentation will not address applications for medical cannabis—patient, caregiver, or facility—registrations. Answers to medical cannabis questions may be found on ABCA’s website or by emailing [email protected].

This course is not a substitute for the Alcohol Awareness Certification Training which must be completed to receive an ABC Manager License. ABC Manager License. A list of approved Alcohol Awareness Training providers is available.

A recording of this presentation can be found here.