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DO I NEED A BARTENDING LICENSE?

“DO I NEED A BARTENDING LICENSE?”

This is another question I get asked all.the.time.  Many people think that, by law, depending on the state or city they live in, they NEED to get a license to step behind the bar.  The truth:  NO STATES REQUIRE A SPECIFIC BARTENDING LICENSE.

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Now let me explain: Many bartending schools will tell you that they will get you your “bartending license” if you sign on with them.  This “bartending license”, however, is merely a certification that they will provide you with once you have paid them their money and taken there course.  It is not a state required “bartending license”.

That being said, most states do have requirements for people serving alcohol.  For example, in Florida, anyone handling or service alcohol must attend “Responsible Vendors” courses in which a instructor teaches and advises proper ways or ID-ing guests, cutting off intoxicated people, etc.   The thing to understand is that this is required of ALL STAFF who handles alcohol: that includes servers, managers, hosts, etc.  (Obviously this is not a “bartending license” because its for servers and managers too).

So what is the takeaway?  Learn the rules an regulations of the city/ state you live in and act accordingly.  DO NOT pay a bartending school $1,200 for a “bartending license” just because they tell you that you need one!  The license you just paid for may be worth absolutely nothing!

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