Alcohol licensing in Iowa is a joint effort of the applicant, local authority (city or county), and the Iowa Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tax Operations Division.

If you want to sell alcohol in Iowa, you have to meet certain requirements about yourself and the location where you want to sell it.

Anyone in Iowa who profits from the sale of alcohol must obtain a license to do so legally.

Local city and county authorities, along with the Division, work together to check the backgrounds of applicants and their proposed premises to make sure they meet all the necessary licensing requirements.

These background investigations play an important role in issuing licenses. Background investigations protect both the licensee and the public.

Having a license in Iowa is a personal privilege. You can apply for a license as an:

  • Individual
  • Partnership
  • Corporation 

Iowa alcohol licenses are based on the premise, or land, area, building, etc. the alcohol is sold on.

Learn more about alcohol license requirements.


eLAPS Alcohol License System

Ready to apply for a license? Need to make a change? Access the eLAPS license system. 

For assistance and training, visit our eLAPS resource guide.