How can I stay open if I am buying an existing bar? (Without an alcohol license)

Crystal Stump, YouTube, COOP

Crystal Stump (owner and CEO of ABC Consulting and former Virginia ABC Special Agent from the Alcohol Beverage Control Authority) explains what a COOP is, in the eyes of the VA ABC Authority.

Pour yourself a drink; you’re going to need it!

A COOP, Continuation of Operations Permit, allows a business to operate on the current alcohol license, while a new license is being applied for. For instance, let’s say that a business is selling but a new entity is taking over the space. It takes about 45 days to get an alcohol license. A new business entity wouldn’t want that downtime in alcohol sales, while waiting for a new license, as they are opening their doors. So, they apply for a COOP. This allows the old license to be used, while waiting for approval on the new license.  ABC Consulting can help you get this COOP and help you apply for your permanent license. There are several steps that need to happen in order for this COOP to be legal.

  1. The current (old owner) licensee needs to approve and sign the COOP, in front of a notary.
  2. The landlord needs to give permission for this to happen – and there needs to be a lease agreement proved as part of the application (or a reassignment of the lease) as part of the COOP agreement.  
  3. There can be no VA ABC Authority violations.
  4. There can be no outstanding taxes due.

We’d love to help you with this application and if you have any questions about applying for a license, watch this video. If you haven’t subscribed to our channel, please do! And if you are already enjoying this channel, please click the bell notification – so you’ll get notified of new videos. It will also help other people browsing YouTube to see our channel. ABC Consulting’s channel is for anyone unsure of how to navigate ABC regulations or for anyone who needs to know all the steps of the process. ABC Consulting was created in 2009 after my retirement from the VA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division, to help businesses such as yours to run a successful and compliant business. In fact, ABC Consulting was created because of my expertise with alcohol regulation (I am a former ABC Agent). This business provides as much help and information, as possible to current and future VA ABC alcohol licensees. If you need an ABC license (or if you want to keep your ABC license), SUBSCRIBE to this channel!

A great way to learn more about serving alcohol, compliantly, is to take our online training, at Our training is very comprehensive and covers DUI’s, ID’ing, how to apply for an alcohol license, how to properly manage a license location and how to do your MBAR’s –  in fact, it even explains that if you receive a violation and take the online training, you can reduce fines by 50%. This seller/server training is appropriate for anyone managing or serving – in fact, we recommend that you re-certify, annually. The cost of our training is only $29.95 and is available, immediately, self-paced and online. All employees should re-take the training, annually. It will save you so much stress and money – the average fine for the first-time violation is a $2,500 fine! If you are just starting out, with your business plan, take a moment and figure out where you need to invest – education is huge and is a great investment. Our training is VA ABC Authority certified. If you hire someone and they don’t take the training and they end up costing you a $2,500 fine, it would have been so much better to just pay the $29.95 in our training course!

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for the most common discussions and mistakes relating to Alcohol Licensing in the state of Virginia. We welcome the call to walk through this with you, over the phone, if you are still confused, but this is the most common hold up in VA ABC applications. Let’s talk: 800-785-0161

*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm, in way do we represent the VA ABC Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.

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