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Charity and Special Events

Do I Need a Liquor License? | Application Process & Kit |
Privileges & Allowable Locations | Liquor For Event

Do I Need a Liquor License?

A license is required to deal in liquor in the state of Arizona. If your organization will purchase, store, serve, or provide liquor, you will be dealing in liquor and will need to be licensed.

Statute/Rule # Description View
4-244 Unlawful acts View
R19-1-101 Definitions View

Application Process & Kit

Special Event applications must be received by the Department of Liquor 10 days prior to the event.

You may apply for a special event (series 15) liquor license if your organization is one of the following: (A.R.S. §4-203.02(E))

  1. a political party or campaign committee supporting a candidate for public office or a ballot measure,
  2. A nonprofit entity that is organized as a nonprofit entity in this state or pursuant to the laws of another state AND that is a nonprofit entity under section 501(c) of the internal revenue code of the United States.
  3. Government Entity

Application is required only to the State of Arizona (not the local government of the city, town or municipality where the event will take place) if the following apply: (A.R.S. §4-203.02(B) and (C))

  1. the event will be held at a location with an active Arizona liquor license, AND
  2. the event will operate only on the approved premises diagramed on the application on file at the Department of Liquor, AND
  3. attached to the application is a document provided by the location licensee that suspends the license or runs concurrent to the license. The document must include the following:
    1. the license number be suspended, and
    2. dates and times that coincide exactly with the event dates/times, and
    3. the licensees printed name, signed name, and current daytime contact phone number, and
    4. is on letterhead or the licensees business card securely attached.

For applications requiring local government approval, allow 60-days to process the license. For applications requiring only state approval, the application must be received no less than ten (10) days prior to the event. (A.R.S. §4-203.02(D)). The state will take approximately 7 - 10 business days to issue the license. The $25 per day fee must be submitted to the state with your application.

After you have submitted the application to the state, you may check the status on the Department of Liquor website "License Search" tab.

A licensed location may hold a Special Event no more than thirty (30) days per calendar year unless the following apply: (A.R.S. §4-203.02(D))

  1. the location has an approved, active and permanent liquor license and
  2. the location is owned, operated, leased, managed or controlled by:
    1. the United States, or
    2. this state, or
    3. a city, town or county of this state.

Qualifying organizations may be granted a Special Event license for no more than 10 days in a calendar year per organization. Events shall be held on consecutive days and at the same location or additional licenses will be required. (A.A.C. R19-1-205(C)). A Special Event License authorizes the sale of all types of spirituous liquor for the period authorized and is automatically terminated upon closing of the last day of the event or the expiration of the license, whichever occurs first.

On-sale special event licensees where liquor will be consumed only at the event and no liquor will leave the premises must receive at least twenty-five percent of the gross revenues from the special event's liquor sales. All expenses shall be supported by written contracts, invoices or receipts, which shall be supported by a contract between the parties to be supplied at the time of application. (A.R.S. §4-203.02(I))

Links to the application kit, licensee training, and employee training information:

Special Event Application Kit (series 15)

Special Event Licensee Training

Special Event Employee Training Information

The Special Event (Series 15) License application kit may also be accessed on the Department of Liquor website on the top navigation bar under the tab titled "application kits and forms." Find the dropdown tab titled "Application Kits" and scroll down to Special Event Permit (series 15). Included are FAQs, the application, and more information about this temporary license.

Responsibilities of Special Event Licensees

Rule Description View
R19-1-318 Responsibilities of a Special Event Licensee View

Privileges & Allowable Locations

A Special Event (Series 15) Liquor License is a temporary license which allows the qualifed organization to serve wine, beer, and/or spirits for consumption at the event and, in some cases, liquor in the original sealed container may be offered in an auction or wine/spirit pull.


If a special event is to be held at a location with an active liquor license, a Letter of Agreement must be submitted by the organization holding the event as part of the Special Event Application. On letterhead and/or signed by the licensee or agent, the Letter of Agreement will:

  1. include the name and license number of the licensed location where the event will be held;
  2. agree to suspend all or a portion of the liquor license for the special event;
  3. attach a diagram of the licensed location as submitted with the application and illustrate the specific area where the event will be held and what areas of the licensed location will be suspended;
  4. clearly state the date and hours of the event which will correspond with suspension or in concurrence with the license.


An organization selling spirituous liquor under a special event license pursuant to ARS 4-203.02(A.2) can hold an auction and allow spirituous liquor to be consume off the licensed premise. Licensee can purchase such spirituous liquor from the holder of a license authorized to sell off sale, the wholesaler, or the nonprofit organization may receive the spirituous liquor from a wholesaler as a donation, or from a donor who receives no remuneration or payment of any kind, directly or indirectly, other than any tax benefits that might result. (A.R.S. §4-203.02(H)

Wine or Distilled Spirits Pull

An organization holding a special event license is authorized to conduct a wine or distilled spirit pull at the event for consumption off the licensed premise. This is when for a set price, attendees pay to select an undisclosed bottle(s) of wine or distilled spirits can be purchased to take off premise. This is limited to only ten 12 bottle cases of distilled spirits or twenty 12 bottle cases of wine bottles during the event. (A.R.S. §4-203.02 (J))


To ensure that your organization meets the requirements to hold a raffle, please review A.R.S. §13-3302(B), (C) and (D).

Liquor For Event

There are two different types of special events and each event type must obtain the liquor that will be offered in a different manner. The two types of special events are:

  1. on-sale (where liquor is sold and consumed on the licensed premises diagrammed in the special event application)(A.R.S. §4-203.02(I)); and
  2. off-sale (where liquor is auctioned or wine/spirit pull in the original container for later consumption, not at the event)(A.R.S. §4-203.02(H) and (J)).

Before you go to the next step, determine which type of event you'll be holding,

For an off-sale special event you have the following options to obtain alcohol:

  1. receive liquor from a donor who receives no remuneration other than tax benefits.
  2. purchase or receive liquor from a wholesaler or producer
  3. purchase or receive liquor from any licensed retailer that has off-sale privileges.

For an on-sale special event you have the following options to obtain alcohol:

  1. to purchase liquor from an Arizona licensed liquor retail store, or;
  2. to purchase or receive liquor donated by an Arizona licensed liquor wholesaler or;
  3. to receive liquor donated by an Arizona licensed liquor producer or;
  4. purchase or receive product from a Craft Distiller, Farm Winery or Microbrewery.