Intoxicating Liquors FAQ 5

When can a liquor license be transferred from one person to another?

State law limits when liquor licenses can be transferred from one person to another. See Wis. Stat. sec. 125.04(12)(b). Person-to-person transfers are allowed only if one of the following situations exists.
If a licensee dies, becomes bankrupt or makes an assignment for the benefit of creditors, the license may be transferred to the personal representative or, if there is none, to the surviving spouse or to the trustee in bankruptcy or receiver. The personal representative, surviving spouse or receiver may continue or sell the business. If the business is sold or assigned, the license may be transferred to the new owner or assignee at no charge if the person qualifies for an alcohol beverage license and obtains the governing body’s consent.

If a licensee becomes disabled during the license year, the license may be transferred to his/her spouse if the spouse applies to the municipality and is qualified to hold an alcohol beverage license. The spouse is exempt from paying the license fee.

Finally, an alcohol beverage license may be transferred to the receiver in a foreclosure action if the transfer is ordered by a court. State statutes do not provide for the automatic transfer of a license to a court-appointed receiver in the case of foreclosure. The receiver may not operate under the license in effect at the time of the foreclosure action unless permitted to do so by the court order.