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State and local laws regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages. The Finance Department is responsible for the process for acquiring both liquor-by-the-drink and package store licenses for businesses located within the City limits.


The State Alcoholic Beverage Commission (the ABC) authorizes liquor-by-the-ounce licenses. Local businesses will pay a fee for the local license in addition to the fee for their state license. The City will notify the business owner/operator of the need for the city license and the applicable fee once the State has authorized a liquor license and notified the City.

There are no applicable forms or a licensing process requiring local approval. Local licenses are issued only after the State has issued a license.

Package Stores

Package store owners must apply to the City for a Certificate of Compliance before they go before the ABC for licensing. The application documents and requirements are available on this website as indicated in the box to the right.

Business owners/operators should not purchase or sell alcoholic beverages prior to being licensed.

Questions regarding licensing requirements and processes should be directed to the Business Tax Section of the Revenue Office at telephone 865-215-2083 or at citytaxoffice@knoxvilletn.gov.