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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIV
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND TOBACCO
Chapter 561
BEVERAGE LAW: ADMINISTRATION
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F.S. 561.15
1561.15 Licenses; qualifications required.
(1) Licenses shall be issued only to persons of good moral character who are not less than 21 years of age. Licenses to corporations shall be issued only to corporations whose officers are of good moral character and not less than 21 years of age. There shall be no exemptions from the license taxes herein provided to any person, association of persons, or corporation, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.
(2) No license under the Beverage Law shall be issued to any person who has been convicted within the last past 5 years of any offense against the beverage laws of this state, the United States, or any other state; who has been convicted within the last past 5 years in this state or any other state or the United States of soliciting for prostitution, pandering, letting premises for prostitution, or keeping a disorderly place or of any criminal violation of chapter 893 or the controlled substance act of any other state or the Federal Government; or who has been convicted in the last past 15 years of any felony in this state or any other state or the United States; or to a corporation, any of the officers of which shall have been so convicted. The term “conviction” shall include an adjudication of guilt on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the forfeiture of a bond when charged with a crime.
(3) The division may suspend or revoke the license under the Beverage Law of, or may refuse to issue a license under the Beverage Law to:
(a) Any person, firm, or corporation the license of which under the Beverage Law has been revoked or has been abandoned after written notice that revocation or suspension proceedings had been or would be brought against the license;
(b) Any corporation if an officer, director, or person interested directly or indirectly in the corporation has had her or his license under the Beverage Law revoked or has abandoned her or his license after written notice that revocation or suspension proceedings had been or would be brought against her or his license; or
(c) Any person who is or has been an officer of a corporation, or who was interested directly or indirectly in a corporation, the license of which has been revoked or abandoned after written notice that revocation or suspension proceedings had been or would be brought against the license.

Any license issued to a person, firm, or corporation that would not qualify for the issuance of a new license or the transfer of an existing license may be revoked by the division. However, any company regularly traded on a national securities exchange and not over the counter; any insurer, as defined in the Florida Insurance Code; or any bank or savings and loan association chartered by this state, another state, or the United States which has an interest, directly or indirectly, in an alcoholic beverage license shall not be required to obtain division approval of its officers, directors, or stockholders or any change of such positions or interests. Any such company, insurer, bank, or savings and loan association which has a direct or indirect interest or which has an ownership interest in the business sought to be licensed, but which does not operate that business, may elect to place the license solely in the name of the operator. The operator’s license application shall list the direct, indirect, or ownership interest and the names of the officers, directors, stockholders, or partners of such company, insurer, bank, or association. A shopping center with five or more stores, one or more of which has an alcoholic beverage license and is required under a lease common to all shopping center tenants to pay no more than 10 percent of the gross proceeds of the business holding the license to the shopping center, shall not be considered as having an interest, directly or indirectly, in the license. A performing arts center, as defined in s. 561.01, which has an interest, directly or indirectly, in an alcoholic beverage license is not required to obtain division approval of its volunteer officers or directors or of any change in such positions or interests.

(4) If a corporation is unable to qualify for or continue to hold an alcoholic beverage license because the corporation has been convicted of a felony and the felony conviction is unrelated to any offense against the beverage laws of this state, any other state, or the United States, such conviction will not constitute an absolute bar to the issuance, renewal, or transfer of an alcoholic beverage license to the corporation, or to the continued holding of an alcoholic beverage license by the corporation, if the corporation can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the division, in a public hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57, that the corporation has terminated its relationship with any director, officer, employee, or controlling shareholder whose actions directly contributed to the conviction of the corporation. If a corporation is unable to qualify for or continue to hold an alcoholic beverage license because an officer of the corporation has been convicted of an offense enumerated in subsection (2), such conviction will not constitute an absolute bar to the issuance, renewal, or transfer of a license to the corporation, or to the continued holding of an alcoholic beverage license by the corporation, if the corporation can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the division that the corporation has terminated its relationship with the officer so convicted. If any corporation has received a full pardon or restoration of civil rights pursuant to state law with respect to any conviction of a violation of law, the conviction does not constitute an absolute bar to the issuance, renewal, or transfer of a license or grounds for revocation or suspension of a license. The division shall annually report to the offices of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives all agency actions taken pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.
History.s. 3, ch. 16774, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 4151(229); s. 12, ch. 57-420; s. 1, ch. 61-219; ss. 16, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-230; s. 48, ch. 77-121; s. 3, ch. 77-471; s. 1, ch. 80-74; s. 1, ch. 81-166; s. 1, ch. 84-262; s. 2, ch. 85-62; ss. 1, 6, 8, ch. 85-285; s. 1, ch. 89-309; s. 255, ch. 96-410; s. 1178, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2011-150.
1Note.As amended by s. 1, ch. 85-285; s. 6, ch. 85-285, in pertinent part provides that “[i]n the event that a federal court of last resort determines that it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to withhold transportation funds from the state because the legal age of the sale, consumption, or possession of alcoholic beverages is under 21 years of age or if federal legislation is enacted to allow the drinking age to be lowered or modified from 21 years of age, it is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments to [this section] contained in this act shall be null and void and that [this section reverts] to the language existing . . . on June 30, 1985.”