September 2, 2016




Bret Dixon Insurance Tips


Illinois Raising Liquor License Fees


Illinois has passed legislation increasing the cost of a standard retailer's liquor license beginning immediately.  Currently, the cost for a state retailer's license is $500, but that will be going up - how much depends on how you renew it.


The legislation, Senate Bill SB2989 (now Public Act 99-0904), was passed on August 26th and amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934 in a few ways.  Most notable to our clientele are the license fee increases. Illinois has over 30 classes of licenses pertaining to alcohol.  For a retailer license, new applicants and those who renew in-person at one of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission's offices, will have to pay $750.  However, those who renew online will only pay $600. 


The ILCC hopes to raise about $3-5 million from the increases, which they want to use to start a test program for liquor inspections to eventually be performed by local authorities instead of state agents, as well as hiring more ILCC agents and creating a program to better track all their data.  There is concern that the commission is not sufficiently staffed to effectively regulate the industry. For example, last year Chicago's ABC affiliate did an investigative piece on liquor smuggling from Indiana to Illinois that some estimated may be costing Illinois $5-$7M a year in lost taxes. Receipts from wholesalers is one thing a liquor inspector would check for to ensure that alcohol being sold was purchased legally.


As for the split pricing, the ILCC reasons that so many in-person license renewals, most of which are routine, are a drain on their time and resources. Hence their new aim to add financial incentive to renewing online.


Online renewals have been possible for a couple of years.  Even if you're not very computer-savvy, the process is easier than you may think. It's done through the Department of Revenue's MyTaxIllinois website that you, or perhaps your bookkeeper, is already using to file sales and payroll taxes (these reports have to be filed online). You probably already have a login for the website, even if you don't realize it.


The first time you attempt to renew your liquor license online you'll have to "pair" it with your MyTaxIllinois account, but from that point on and at subsequent annual renewals the process is similar to what you do already.  The questionnaire is filled out online instead of on paper and you'll need digital copies - either a scan or a good clean picture from a smartphone - of your local liquor license and your certificate of insurance to upload to the online renewal in lieu of attaching paper copies.  From there you input your bank info for the fee to be drawn and submit it.  Now, not only will that save you a trip to the ILCC office, but it will save you $150 as well.  You can log back in a day or two later and print out a copy of your renewed license once it's processed.


We did a write-up of the process a couple of years ago, and the ILCC has a pretty good instructional video as well:


If you're not comfortable doing the process on your own, we can assist you with filing online, provided you are willing to disclose your login credentials and can get us a copy of your local license.


Sound off on the license increases on our Facebook page and follow us - we repost our email blurbs there - to make sure you don't miss anything.  




Office Closed Monday, Sept. 5th

glove-flag.jpgOur office will be closed on Monday, September 5th in observance of Labor Day.  Should you have an after hours emergency, you can check for your insurance company's phone number or website on our Claims & Payments page to contact them directly, or call our number and listen for the after-hours emergency prompt in the options.


Have a great weekend and stay safe. 



BDI Value Added Benefits: Liquor Training

Illinois now has a hard deadline for when employees of it's nearly 26,000 liquor licensees need BASSET training.  Our liquor training program is a state-approved BASSET course that would satisfy the new state requirements.  Each course is approximately 3 hours long and certifies sellers and servers for a period of 3 years.  

More Information





Resources & Tools

Get info & find help with a variety of information for your business.



What you need to know for company or liquor control inspections.


Loss Control

Keep your equipment in compliance with state fire safety codes.


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Bret Dixon Insurance, P.O. Box 205, Bethalto, IL 62010