The Bar Starter Kit provides everything you need to help you choose a location, obtain a liquor license and health permit, and open your doors here in Stamford - ­including a printable version of the Bar Guide.

What's Inside

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The US Small Business Administration (SBA) created this template to help you research and write your business plan.

Liquor Store Zoning Laws
Stamford has multiple laws pertaining to the minimum distance between and operation of restaurants, cafes, taverns, and bars operating within the city. The specific material is covered in depth on pages 14­1 to 14­4 of the zoning code.

Food Handler Inspection
The Stamford Health Department, Environmental Health and Inspection Division 
issues this license to all food service establishments in the City of Stamford to ensure public health and the practice of proper food preparation methods by the establishment. Costs vary based upon restaurant seating.

Fire Marshal Certificate of Inspection
The Office of State Fire Marshal, working in cooperation with the state agencies, regulates the sale of alcohol and the meeting of large groups of people by requiring a single form be filled out to report the findings of the local fire marshal’s code compliance inspection to the state.

Age Statement Form
If you still question the eligibility of a customer to purchase liquor even after proper identification is provided, you can have them complete this short form to ensure you are not liable if the customer is in fact a minor.


Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An EIN (also known as an Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number) is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is needed for a business to pay employees and file business tax returns. An EIN does not expire and is unique to your business – once an EIN has been given to an entity, it will never be issued again.

REG-1: CT Tax Registration Form
In order to register your business with the State of Connecticut, you must complete the REG-1 Business Tax Registration Form. By filling out this form and the proper addendums, you can get your permit to sell tobacco products, fuel, etc.

Trade Name Registration Form
A trade name is any name used during the course of your business that doesn’t include the full legal name of all the owners of the business. In Stamford, must register your trade name through the Town Clerk’s office. More information can be found on the Create a Name page.

Sales and Use Tax Permit
Permit required in order to provide a service or sell/lease tangible property in the State of Connecticut. You can fill out this permit using the Taxpayer Service Center. Find out if your product/service is exempt from Sales and Use Tax by looking at the State's list of exemptions

CT Unemployment Tax Form UC-1A
All employers must register their employees with the Unemployment Insurance Tax Division using the UC-1A Employer Status Report form linked above. The Unemployment Insurance Tax Division is responsible for the funding needed to pay CT employees that have become unemployed through no fault of their own. To learn more about unemployment insurance, we encourage you to read the Employer’s Guide to Unemployment Compensation or check out the CT Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Tax Information Center.

Building Permit
Permit required for any additions, alterations, or repairs to a building, and electrical wiring and plumbing installations.

Sign Permit
Required for most business signs. Includes fabricated and hanging signs, as well as signs that have been painted directly on a building.

City Restaurant Health Inspection
The City of Stamford Health Department requires a pre-operational health inspection and a routine health inspection around every six to twelve months thereafter. It’s advisable to review what the health inspector is going to check during their inspection.

On Premises Liquor Permit
The On-Premises Liquor Permit allows a restaurant to serve alcohol to its customers. Note: there are many different types of On-Premises Liquor Permits. If you plan to serve wine, you will need to get the Restaurant Wine and Beer Permit. If you plan to operate as a cafe, you will need a cafe liquor permit. Application fees are different between permit types.

Food Handler Inspection
The Stamford Health Department, Environmental Health and Inspection Division issues this license to all food service establishments in the City of Stamford to ensure public health and the practice of proper food preparation methods by the establishment. Costs vary based upon restaurant seating.

Package Store Permit
Allows the sale of alcoholic beverages with stipulations regarding specific patrons and certain days to whom and on which you may not sell alcohol to and on.

Patio/Extension of Use/Additional Consumer Bar Application
Allows the bar owner to expand operations outside the normal restraint boundaries, serving and seating customers on constructed or available patio space.

Weights and Measures Licenses
The Weights and Measures program registers weighing or measuring devices to ensure consumer protection and rights. Applies to any business that will be using regulated weighing and measuring devices.