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Which licensing system should I use?

If you are renewing or applying for a 12-month Class "C" Retail Alcohol License (LC):

For all other licensing applications, use eLAPS.

If you need to change an existing license, use eLAPS. Examples:

  • Adding or removing outdoor service
  • License transfers
  • Ownership changes
  • Dramshop changes

If you need help getting started or learning how to use eLAPS, visit the eLAPS resources page with guides, tips, and video training.

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How do I apply and get a license?

The Iowa Department of Revenue Alcohol & Tax Operations Division (Division) makes every attempt to process applications for licenses and permits in a timely manner. Due to the high number of applications being received, we ask that you apply at least 45 days in advance of your event. In addition, your application should be approved by the local authority and forwarded to the Division at least 15 days prior to the effective date.

Learn more about license requirements in Iowa

Missing information and errors may delay the application process, and may then delay the license or permit to be issued by the requested effective date. Please note that selling alcohol without a license or permit is a violation of the law.

Iowa law requires all alcoholic beverages retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and brokers to apply for and obtain a license or permit before doing business in the state.

The licensing process for Iowa liquor license and beer, spirits, and wine permit holders is entirely online.

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I'm a new business owner. Where do I start?

Learn more about taxes in Iowa as a business owner. Visit Starting a Business for more information. If your business sells food on-site or to go, view Iowa Sales Tax on Food for a list of what foods are taxable and which are exempt.

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