Web Content Viewer

Retail Premise Inspection

The following are some of the basic requirements for physical inspections of a permit premises. Please understand, however, that additional requirements may exist or can vary depending upon your specific situation or type of applied for permit. 

Liquor Permit Premises Inspections 

All Class A (manufacturer), B (wholesale distributor), C (carryout retail), D (on-premises retail), and W (warehouse) permits require some sort of on-site premises inspection BEFORE a liquor permit can be issued to your location. The permitting process has several different "tracks," ALL of which must be completed before a permit can be issued. Some of those tracks can include:

  • whether permits exist in the quota;
  • determining the location's wet/dry status for the applicable permit types,
  • whether the local legislative authority (retail permits) or institutions within 500 feet of the proposed premises object to the issuance or transfer of the permit such that a hearing has been requested and needs held;
  • on-site inspections, including food permits (Class D and A-1A) if applicable;
  • reviewing documents like proof of tenancy, financial documents, criminal background records, or prior permit holder records;
  • any tax issues, if a transfer of ownership is involved, are resolved; and
  • unresolved violations against a seller or missing renewal applications are filed.  

If the foundation or footers for a new building are NOT present during the initial inspection it can lead to delays because we may not be able to measure for the existence of churches, schools, libraries or other institutions within 500 feet of the premises.

Even if a building is constructed at the location, a final inspection can only be conducted when the premises are completed and ready to operate. As such, do NOT request a final inspection until you are basically ready to open and operate. If you have questions along the way about items you may have discussed with our agent during an initial inspection, please contact them or consult with your personal liquor attorney. For more general liquor permit related questions visit our general resource guide.  

Class Specific Requirements


Prior to requesting a final inspection make sure that any equipment and fixtures on the premises are hooked up. Also, there must be non-alcoholic inventory on the premises, but the inventory does not necessarily have to be stocked on the shelves or other sales area. Note that if you are applying for a transfer of ownership only at the same location where the seller's permit is currently issued, we understand that alcoholic beverages may be present.  


Like Class C permits above, before requesting a final inspection you should have any equipment and fixtures on the premises hooked up. Ohio's rules and regulations, like OAC 4301:1-1-17 apply, including a three-compartment sink or commercial automatic dishwasher. Moreover, unlike Class C permits, D permit holders must have two complete, separate restrooms, containing one or more water-flushed toilets, complete with seats. If two or more such toilets are installed, partitions and doors shall be provided to ensure complete privacy. Bathrooms must include hand-washing facilities with warm water, soap, and individual-type sanitary towels or hand dryers. The doors of restroom facilities for patron or customer use cannot open directly into the kitchen or other food preparation area, and must be equipped with automatic self-closing devices. Most D Class permits must also have a food operator's (FSO) or food establishment (FE) license issued to it in the same name as the permit applicant (or can be in seller's name if transfer of ownership only is on file) from its local board of health. The premises must be equipped to serve the minimum food required by the division: hot soup, sandwiches, and a hot and a cold non-alcoholic beverage. D Class permits must also have available seating for on-premises consumption to take place.

D-5 Permits

Require all of the normal D Class Requirements above with the following additions and/or exceptions:

  • The permit premises must provide or allow some form of entertainment.
  • The permit holder is not required to prepare food on the premises; however, if it is not prepared on the premises, catered food as indicated above must be available during all hours of operation on the premises. A food service permit (FSO or FE) is STILL required to be issued in the liquor permit applicant's name.

D-8 Bathroom Exception

A D-8 permit premises is not required to have restroom facilities [see O.A.C. 4301:1-1-17(G)].

State Agency Exception

This requirement will not apply to D permit holders who are also agencies for the sale of spirituous liquor, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.17.

A-1A FSO/FE Exception

If you have an A-1A permit and have an issued (or will get the A-1c together with your A-1A permit), then you do NOT need to have an FSO/FE permit. Rather, you will need to have either commercially pre-packaged food available at your permit premises or partner with a mobile food truck during all hours that you are open for business.  

Ready for a final inspection? 

If you are ready to request a final inspection, fill out our inspection scheduling request so that we can have an agent contact you.