New Jersey law requires that every individual who has an interest in an alcoholic beverage license be disclosed, unless the interest is less than one percent of the stock of the corporation. See N.J.S.A. 33:1-25.

In order to make these disclosures, the license holders must disclose the individuals by completing page 10A of the retail license application, wherein they give the name, address, date of birth, social security number and the driver’s license state and number of every individual with more than a one percent interest in the license. Additionally, included in the application must be the nature of the interest for each person.

Failure to disclose a person who has an interest in the liquor license on the retail application page 10A will result in the license holder being deemed as having an undisclosed interest. Even those who are deemed as not having an equitable or beneficial interest in the license must be disclosed, despite the fact that they may not be considered stock holding interests.

There are many reasons why license holders may be reluctant to disclose all of the interest holders of the liquor license. This could be because they had been convicted of a crime (N.J.S.A.33:1-25), they could already have had a license revoked within the past two years (N.J.S.A. 33:1-31), or already have two retail licenses in violation of state statute (N.J.S.A. 33:1-12.31). It is imperative that license holders either air on the side of caution and disclose any and all interest holders in their liquor license, or consult an experienced New Jersey ABC/liquor license attorney who will answer any questions they may have.

Absent mitigating circumstances, the failure to disclose an interest is punishable by revocation of the license to sell alcoholic beverages or suspension of the license. Generally, when the person who was not disclosed having an interest in the license is not otherwise disqualified for holding a liquor license, this will not result in a revocation penalty but rather the license may be subject to substantial suspension.

SOURCES:

ABC Bulletin 2470, attached as Appendix “C” of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Handbook for Municipal Issuing Authorities

Alcoholic Beverage Control Handbook for Retail Licensees

Filed under: ABC Handbook