Liquor Licenses Appraisals –
The Appraisal and Valuation of
New Jersey Liquor Licenses


I was asked the following question:  How is your NJ Liquor Licenses appraisal validated?

NJ liquor license transactions are NOT recorded, so true appraisal validation in the sense of a real property is impossible. My valuation, is NOT a validated appraisal but rather a snapshot of  the collection of data and information which I have on file and recent transactions in and around the town I am appraising.

For example, let us examine a possible liquor licenses appraisal scenario for North Plainfield.

Plenary retail consumption license have not traded there in several years.

In the surrounding towns of Green Brook and Dunellen, retail plenary consumption license have traded for $175,000 and $150,000 respectively during the last 18 months.

The last one which traded in North Plainfield was 5 years ago for $200,000.

Criteria to determine the value of the North Plainfield liquor license:

  • Number of “in pocket” licenses in town. (Click here for “in pocket” definition)
  • Median income and population demographics of the town as compared to its neighbors.
  • New or planned projects within the town that would create license demand.
  • Sale prices of any retail 33 liquor licenses sold in the town or it’s neighbors.

My valuation of the North Plainfield license as of this date is $175,000.

It is more of an estimate than a “validated” transaction as in a real estate appraisal.

Liquor licenses appraisal –

I can help identify the value of New Jersey liquor licenses.

Unlike real estate transactions, the value of NJ liquor license transactions is only known to the participants. Over the last 23 years, I have built a data base of 600 transactions consummated in many of the 566 towns in New Jersey. If you may need an value for a New Jersey liquor license, I can help.

The actual way of creating an appraisal for the New Jersey area.

Towns do not have sales data. State agencies do not keep sales data.

Most licenses are sold as part of a restaurant transaction where the value of the license is determined by buyer and seller.

My data base is full of research which identifies comparable sales in neighboring towns with similar demographics and other critical data points to accurately establish New Jersey liquor license values.


Call me to appraise and explain my marketing techniques.

REMEMBER: one of the requirements for granting a special ruling from the New Jersey Acoholic Beverage Commission Director is that the liquor license owner has attempted to market the pocketed or inactive license. Howard Goldstein can satisfy that requirement.

If a license has been inactive for two or more years it is considered pocketed or inactive and a special ruling from NJABC’s Director is required before the municipality may renew the license for the next license year.  In order to apply for a special ruling, the licensee must file the renewal application with the municipality and pay all renewal fees. The municipality will then hold the license renewal in abeyance until the Director issues the special ruling.

The New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Commission Director will issue a special ruling for the first verified petition for a period of two years. Thereafter, special rulings will be granted on an annual basis.

The ABC Director’s willingness to grant special rulings for renewals will depend on the efforts being made to market the license and/or the reasons for the inability to place the license.

Liquor Licenses Appraisal prices upon request…..

Call me to discuss your specific needs at 908-403-2718