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
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.