How to Get a Liquor Permit in Ohio When There Are No New Permits Available

The easiest and most cost effective way to obtain a liquor permit in Ohio is to apply for a new permit. However, In Ohio, liquor permits and licenses are limited based on the population of a taxing district. Therefore, due to scarcity of supply, often times prospective business owners find that they are unable to apply for limited new permits at the proposed location of their business. The Ohio Liquor License Lawyers at Sawan & Sawan have outlined some important information about how to get a liquor permit in Ohio when there are no new permits available in this post.  

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Quota Availability of Liquor Permits in Ohio

In Ohio, the amount of available liquor permits in any given area is controlled by the population and permit type. Here’s how Ohio’s quota system works:

  • C Permits. These carryout retail permits are issued at a ratio of 1 per 1000 people in a political subdivision. 
  • D Permits. These retail permits are issued at a ratio of 1 permit for every 2,000 people in a political subdivision.
Liquor License Lawyer in Ohio - Sawan & Sawan
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How to Transfer a Liquor Permit

TREX Tranfers

When a new permit is not available, the only option is to obtain a permitted business from another political subdivision – such as a nearby city or township. Ohio Revised Code Section 4304.29 allows for the transfer of a C1, C2, D1, D2, D3 or D5 permit through a process known as a Economic Development Transfer Process (also referred to as TREX). This process was initially established to provide opportunities in areas where there were not enough new permits. While TREX permits the transfer of permits from one political subdivision to another, certain requirements must be met. The general conditions for a TREX transfer in Ohio are as follows:

  • You must be unable to complete a transfer within the political subdivision, obtain a new permit or the number of applicants must exceed the number of permits available; and
  • The transfer must be part of a “bonafide” sale of the business and assets of the permit holder. 
  • You must obtain approval from the city, village or township. This must be obtained by the Mayor, City Council Member, or Legal Director.

About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a multi-generational, family owned law firm practicing law in the areas of car accidents, truck accidents, insurance claims, personal injury, litigation and more. Our firm practices law in Ohio (Toledo, Columbus), Georgia, Michigan and Florida


Dennis P. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Georgia


Christopher A. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Michigan

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