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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16275
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
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I own a restaurant in Florida and want to obtain a beer & wine

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I own a restaurant in Florida and want to obtain a beer & wine (2COP) license, but I have a recent felony conviction. Is it possible (i.e. legal) to transfer ownership of the restaurant (via my LLC) to a family member and have them apply, and then I would continue to operate the restaurant while they are the owner? I am asking a legal question, this is assuming I 100% trust the family member and there is no risk involved from that perspective. Thank you!
Hello. My name isXXXXX am a Florida licensed attorney and I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry about your difficult situation.

Unfortunately, what you are describing would not be legally possible, as the relative who would apply for the liquor license would have to submit sworn affidavit that he/she is the true owner of the company and operated the business and if your relative lies on the sworn affidavit and such lie is later uncovered by authorities, your relative would be facing felony purgery charges and also you could be subject to criminal prosecution for setting up such arrangement in order to obtain a liquor license.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Alex. Just to be thorough, if the relative were the true owner of the restaurant and paid me a salary to be a manager, would it still be the same? I would still manage it and pay the bills, etc. but she would truly own the business.


Thank you for your follow up.

Would the relative operate and control the restaurant and retain its profits?

I see what you are trying to do here, but it is generally a very big risk to take for both, someone in your position and the relative.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The relative (my mother) would not operate the restaurant, I would. If necessary she could retain the profits and pay me an actual salary to operate it. She did assist me financially with the purchase, so we both have an interest although the business is in my name, but she lives out of state and has no restaurant experience. We both just want the place to succeed but I am struggling without the license. If it were legal for her to own it and me to manage it in order to get the license we would set it up legitimately. The important thing would be that she doesnt have to be involved in the day to day operations. Thanks for your help.

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, what you are describing would not be legal and it would not take the state long time to uncover the fact that you would be the true owner and the person in control of the restaurant, so it would generally be illegal and would subject both the absentee owner and the person who has the real ownership and control of the business to criminal and civil liability.

I wish you the best of luck!
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