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2019 Florida Statutes
Transfer of licenses; change of officers or directors; transfer of interest.
Transfer of licenses; change of officers or directors; transfer of interest.
561.32 Transfer of licenses; change of officers or directors; transfer of interest.—
(1) Licenses issued under the provisions of the Beverage Law shall not be transferable except as follows:
(a) When a licensee has made a bona fide sale of the business which he or she is so licensed to conduct, he or she may obtain a transfer of such license to the purchaser of the business, provided the application of the purchaser is approved by the division in accordance with the same procedure provided for in ss. 561.17, 561.18, 561.19, and 561.65.
(b) A person holding a lien against an alcoholic beverage license may have his or her rights enforced in a judicial proceeding, subject to the rights of lienholders set forth in s. 561.65. However, any person having a security interest in an alcoholic beverage license is deemed to be interested indirectly in such license; and he or she shall be disclosed to the division and shall be subject to the qualifications of the Beverage Law as a precondition to the enforcement of the security interest. The foreclosure of a security interest or judicial transfer of a license shall not prevent the division from suspending the license or imposing a civil penalty against the licensee of record that held the license at the time of the Beverage Law violation. However, should the division obtain a revocation of the license against the previous licensee of record, the revocation shall be effective only to impair the qualifications of the officers, directors, stockholders, or persons having any interest in the license at the time of the revocable offense.
(2)(a) No person is entitled as a matter of right to a transfer of a license or interest in a license to a relative or to any other person or to a change of executive officers or directors:
1. If the division has notified the licensee in writing that a revocation, suspension, or administrative proceeding or a proceeding under s. 561.42 has been or will be brought against the license; or
2. If a licensee, executive officer, director, or person holding an interest in the license or business has been arrested, charged, indicted, or convicted, or has appealed the conviction, of a crime which is disqualifying under the alcoholic beverage laws. Any licensee, executive officer, director, or person holding an interest in a license or business who is arrested, charged, indicted, or convicted, or has appealed the conviction, of a crime which is disqualifying under the alcoholic beverage laws is required to immediately notify the division in writing of such action.
It is unlawful to transfer or attempt to transfer any license or interest in a license or business or change executive officers or directors contrary to the provisions of this section.
(b) The term “relative” with respect to this subsection means an individual who is related to the licensee, executive officer, director, or person holding an interest as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepsister, stepbrother, half brother, or half sister.
(c) The transfer of such license or financial interest in such license or the change of executive officers or directors in any such case shall be within the discretion of the division.
(3)(a) Before the issuance of any transfer of license herein provided, the transferee shall pay a transfer fee of 10 percent of the annual license tax to the division, except for those licenses issued pursuant to s. 565.02(1) and subject to the limitation imposed in s. 561.20(1), for which the transfer fee shall be assessed on the average annual value of gross sales of alcoholic beverages for the 3 years immediately preceding transfer and levied at the rate of 4 mills, except that such transfer fee shall not exceed $5,000; in lieu of the 4-mill assessment, the transferor may elect to pay $5,000. Further, the maximum fee shall be applied with respect to any such license which has been inactive for the 3-year period. Records establishing the value of such gross sales shall accompany the application for transfer of the license, and falsification of such records shall be punishable as provided in s. 562.45. All transfer fees collected by the division on the transfer of licenses issued pursuant to s. 565.02(1) and subject to the limitation imposed in s. 561.20(1) shall be returned by the division to the municipality in which such transferred license is operated or, if operated in the unincorporated area of the county, to the county in which such transferred license is operated.
(b) Each licensed manufacturer, distributor, broker, sales agent, and importer shall pay a transfer license fee equal to 10 percent of the total state, county, and city, if any, annual license fee.
(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a license issued under s. 561.20(1) shall not be transferable in any manner, either directly or indirectly, including by any change in stock, partnership shares, or other form of ownership of any entity holding the license, except by probate or guardianship proceedings, for a period of 3 years from the date of original issuance. Any attempted assignment, sale, or transfer of interest in such license either directly or indirectly in violation of this provision is hereby declared void, and the license shall be deemed abandoned and shall revert to the state to be issued in the manner provided by law for issuance of new licenses.
(b) A license issued under s. 561.20(1) may be transferred as provided by law within the 3-year period only upon payment to the division of a transfer fee in an amount equal to 15 times the annual license fee specified in s. 565.02(1)(b)-(f) in the county in which the license is valid. However, if the county is only authorized for the issuance of liquor licenses for package sales only, the transfer fee shall be in an amount equal to 15 times the annual license fee specified in s. 565.02(1)(a). Subsequent to any such transfer, the transferee shall be subject to the provisions of the beverage laws with respect to the requirement for initial issuance of a license. Any change of ownership in any manner, either directly or indirectly, including any change in stock, partnership shares, or other form of ownership of any entity holding the license shall be considered a transfer and subject to the fees set forth in this paragraph. The transfer fees provided for in this paragraph shall be in addition to any other transfer fee provided for by this section. The funds collected pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in the Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Trust Fund and shall be used by the division to defray the costs of operation.
(5) The division shall waive the transfer fee and the delinquent penalties, but not the license renewal fee, when the transfer of an interest in an alcoholic beverage license occurs by operation of law because of a death, judicial proceedings, court appointment of a fiduciary, foreclosure or forced judicial sale, bankruptcy proceedings, or seizure of a license by a government agency.
History.—s. 6, ch. 18015, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(271f); s. 4, ch. 23746, 1947; s. 12, ch. 25359, 1949; s. 1, ch. 28123, 1953; ss. 16, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-230; s. 3, ch. 76-288; s. 1, ch. 77-192; s. 9, ch. 81-158; s. 4, ch. 81-166; s. 45, ch. 83-216; s. 5, ch. 89-293; s. 3, ch. 89-361; s. 11, ch. 91-60; s. 9, ch. 95-346; s. 846, ch. 97-103; s. 8, ch. 2000-191; s. 2, ch. 2001-257.