Alcohol Licenses


Effective 4/3/2020 restaurants, hotels, clubs may sell certain amounts of malt beverages and wine only as part of a transaction for the purchase of food until further notice.  Advisory Letter


New licenses and amendments to liquor license must first be approved by the Town's Burlington Board of Selectmen followed by approval by the State's Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (ABCC).    

Some applications may not require a hearing and are reviewed by the Town Administrator who is the Deputy Local Licensing Authority followed by approval by the ABCC.


Burlington Alcohol Rules & Regulations       
Burlington Alcohol Server Policy
      Additional Conditions for AMC Theater Alcoholic Beverage License
      Additional Conditions for Life Time Fitness Center Alcoholic Beverage License

Standard conditions for new licenses and transfers:
Crowd Manager Certification (ABCC Advisory) – If you are a 100+ dance hall type environment.  Include a list of Crowd Control Managers and a copy of their certification.  
Workmen’s Compensation Affidavit (ABCC requires)  per MGL - all employers must provide workers’ compensation for their employees.  
Certificate of Inspection OR Certificate of Occupancy - (Package stores exempt) -- as required by Chapter 304 of the Acts of 2004, An Act Relative To Fire Safety In The Commonwealth, every license holder under M.G.L. c.138, §12 (on premise serving) must submit a valid certificate of inspection issued by a local inspector and signed by the head of the fire department. 
Servers - All establishments must contact the Town of Burlington’s Police Department to ensure servers are qualified. 
Proof of $1,000,000 liquor liability insurance. 
Rules and Regulations for the Licensing and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages and the Police Department’s Server Policy must be  followed. 


Soft Openings
All Soft Openings for training purposes must be reported to the Board of Selectmen's staff at in order for confirmation to be made that all licenses are in place and that soft opening training can be provided to the new restaurant management.  
Important:  Due to insurance and liability issues, alcoholic beverages cannot be served free of charge. 
No alcohol may be taken from the restaurant.
No personal should walk around the establishment with a drink.
All drinks are delivered by a server.
All servers must be registered with the Burlington Police Department.
Drinks may not be delivered to individuals free of charge.
Drinks may not be sold for a price less than the price regularly charged .
No more than two drinks may be served without eating.
Drinking games are prohiited.
(Nothing contained in the bylaw prohibits licensees from offering free food at any time)
Entertainment (musical bands) must be approved by the Board of Selectmen.

Beer and Wine Tastings
All alcoholic beverages tasted must also be available for sale on premises.
Restaurants, hotels, and function halls holding wine, malt beverages and spirits tasting must provide food with the alcoholic beverages and they must not solicit orders for any off-premises consumption. The manager of the restaurant, hotel, or function hall is responsible for controlling the dispensing of the alcoholic beverages and the size of each serving is limited to the following amounts:
Malt beverages one (2) ounce serving
Wine beverages one (1) ounce serving
Spirits beverages one (1/4) ounce serving
Package stores may not charge for any wine, malt beverages or spirits tasting and they must also limit the above stated serving sizes.

Special One-Day Liquor License
Special One-Day Liquor License Application
Requests must be submitted 30 days prior to event
Alcohol for the event cannot be purchased from a package store.  A State Approved Wholesaler must be contacted for the purchase and delivery of alcohol. 
Instead of a one-day license, we recommend hiring a  State Approved 12C Licensee  who will handle the purchase of alcohol, the serving of the alcohol and will contact the Police Chief within the required  48 hours.    
Annual fees and regular fees are listed at the bottom of website page.

Alcohol Beverages Control Commission (ABCC)
M.G.L. c138, s.24.  Click this site to view the State's authority to promulgate regulations clarifying, carrying out, enforcing and preventing violation of Chapter 138's provisions for the method of carrying on the business of any alcohol licensed premise.  
FAQ'S - Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Control Commission
State Advisory Letters
Matrix for Retail License Transactions

Submit applications 30 days prior to meeting to allow for staff review and public hearing.
Do not use staples when submitting alcohol applications.  Clips may be used.
Sections may be separated by colored paper.  You may add headings to the colored sheets of paper.
Submit 12 copies of 11x 17 floor plan for new or altered floor plans.
State Monetary Transmittal Form in application packet must be  submitted with autopay receipt to the ABCC at the following autopay site for the State:   
$200.00 for all one-submission applications.
$150.00 fee to the Town of Burlington for all amendments.

Amendment applications
New or Transfer License Alcohol Applications
Change of Manager Alcohol ApplicationChange of Corporate Name, Change of DBA, Change of Legal Structure, Change of Class, Change of Category
Forms for Multiple Amendments to Alcohol License
Alteration of Premises and Change of Location

All amendments for Alteration of Premises must be accompanied by the new floor plan, and proof that the floor plan has been previously approved by the Building Department and Fire Department for their recommendations.
Pledge of Collateral (License, Stock, or Inventory)
Transactional Checklist
Resources and Forms for Local Licensing Authorities (LLAs)

    1.  Brief resume describing past or current experience under an alcohol license-Town Requirement
    2.  State I.D.
    3. Passport or other verification of U.S. citizenship
    4.  TIPs Certification (Training for Intervention)-Town Requirement (Procedures)
    5.  Burlington CORI Authorization Form:  Signed (We cannot use the state's CORI.)-Town Requirement
    6. Letter signed by new manager stating they have read and understand the State and  the Town's following Alcohol Rules and Regulations.-Town Requirement 
     Burlington Alcohol Rules & Regulations   and 
     Burlington Alcohol Server Policy

  • PUBLIC HEARINGS:  When a public hearing is required, it will be prepared, along with the abutter notification, by the Selectmen's office.  Petitioner or representative will sign a release agreeing to cover the cost of the billing for the publication.  
  • Petitioner must obtain from the Assessors Office (781) 270-1650  list of direct abutters within 300'  along with four (4) sets of lables.  Also request and provide to the Selectmen's Office abutters within 500'.   ABUTTERS-FORM     Petioner mails abutter notices no later than three (3) days from the publication of the legal notice.
  • When application is complete and labels  have been received, contact this office to select a date to go before the Board of Selectmen. 
  • New/transfer & alterations of premises:  CONTACT BUILDING DEPARTMENT TO REVIEW THE FLOOR PLAN.  Final plan should include a break down of # of indoor and outdoor seating including changes during the off season.  The term "bar" may not be included on the floor plan.  You may use the term "cafe dining."

In order to confirm that all licensees and applicants are in compliance with Massachusetts tax laws, the ABCC is requiring a Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for the following transactions submitted to the Local Board:
-          Transfer of License (certificate must be in the current/seller licensee name)
-          Change in Beneficial Interest
-          Pledge of License
-          Change of License Class (Seasonal, Annual)
-          Change in License Category (Wines and Malts, All Alcohol, etc.)
-          Change of Entity Name (certificate must be in the current corporate name)
-          Change of Corporate Structure (certificate must be in the current corporate structure)
-          Addition of a Management Agreement
-          PLEASE NOTE: a new licensee does not require a COGS
An applicant can obtain a COGS by visiting the Department of Revenue’s website:

2018 LLA Checklist for applications

2018 Outreach Seminar





New & Renewal / All Alcoholic / Restaurant  3,000
New & Renewal / Wine & Malt Bev. / Restaurant 1,500
New & Renewal / Addition of Liqueurs & Cordials     500
New & Renewal / Common Victualler License        25
New & Renewal / All Alcohol / Package StoreVictualler License 2,200
New & Renewal / Wine & Malt Beverages / Package Goods Store 1,700
New & Renewal / All Alcohol / Club     250
New & Renewal Amusement Devices (each)        50
New & Renewal Live Entertainment        25
One-Time Fee Per Request:            
Special One-Day / Alcoholic Beverage Permit        75

Information for 2021 license renewals

Renewal Packet with instructionsWorkers' Compensation Insurance Affidavit - Fillable Form
Acord Liquor Liability Sample
All liquor license renewal applications must be signed by an authorized owner, a corporate officer listed on documents on file with the town, or town and ABCC approved manager.  Do not make any changes or cross out the listed manager on the renewal form UNLESS both the Town and the ABCC have approved a new manager. 


Current Alcohol License Transfers:  Licensees who are in the process of transferring their licenses