Franz bill creates conditional liquor license

March 15, 2013

LANSING — New businesses and ownership transferees would have the option of purchasing a conditional liquor license to allow the sale of alcohol temporarily while the state reviews its permanent documentation under House Bill 4277, sponsored by Rep. Ray Franz of Michigan’s 101st District, which includes Mason County.

The legislation was approved this week by the House Regulatory Reform Committee. It creates a $300 permit separate from the full liquor license application from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC).

“The slow wheels of government can be an obstacle for businesses trying to get underway, and since more entrepreneurs and jobs are what Michigan needs to continue its economic growth this compromise to reduce the red tape is the right step for our state,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “This option gives an owner some flexibility to weigh the benefit of requesting the added permit for quicker product sales against waiting for the commission’s approval with empty shelves for a while.”

The MLCC would have 20 business days to consider a conditional license application, which would include proof of a liquor liability insurance policy and an executed property document. The license would expire after one year, or upon determination for granting a full license.

The decision to transfer or approve a liquor license can take six to eight months, during which time the original owner continues to be liable for violations or infractions.

Franz has had firsthand experience with the current system, having ownership of his grocery store business returned to him when the buyers could no longer complete the sales agreement after several months. The store was unable to sell alcohol for several months more while the liquor license paperwork was processed by the state for the transfer back.

“That was a tough time made even more difficult because we were prohibited from selling products people expected us to have,” Franz said. “It’s an unnecessary thing to have to go through when a business owner has so many other concerns to keep the lights on and the door open. This is a government reform that just makes sense all the way around.”

HB 4277 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Franz can be contacted by calling toll free 1-855-DIST-101 (1-855-347-8101), or, and his online office website address is

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