Starting A Bar Business Checklist


You have always dreamed of owning a bar and you’re ready to make it a reality. Starting any new business is complicated and requires extensive planning. Use this checklist for opening a bar. 

1. Draw Up the Business Plan

A business plan is crucial for opening a bar – particularly if you are looking for investment finance. You don’t have to go into minute detail but you need details of financials such as start-up costs and ongoing operational costs. Be realistic about costs – for example, do not set a rigid date for the break-even point. You might include your mission statement and express your competitive advantage as these will help with raising finance. 

2. Define Your Business Structure

This decision defines whether your business will be run as a sole trader, partnership, LLC, or corporation. It is super important because, among other factors, business structure defines liability. As a sole proprietor, you will be solely liable for any losses and any damages should an incident occur.  A bar is best set up as an LLC or corporation. 

This involves hiring an attorney who can help you to register your bar’s name and logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Look for a lawyer who is experienced in intellectual property law. You also need to ensure you gain the copyright or rights to use the logo from the designer you use. 

4. Get The Necessary Licenses

You cannot open a bar without the proper license. You need to find out exactly what kind of license is required and get an answer to what is perhaps the most important question, how much is a liquor license in Arizona this needs to be built into your budget. The right licenses will enable you to serve drinks, and food and also play music. 

5. Find a Location

Location is a major factor in the future success of your bar. Firstly, be aware of zoning restrictions – you may not be able to open a bar in certain locations. Consider the demographics and also get statistics on footfall in the local area. There are also practical considerations such as parking and accessibility. 

6. Design Your Bar


Designing your bar is all about choosing a theme and making sure everything – and that means everything from the décor and furniture to the food, music, and drinks – is in sync. For example, you wouldn’t open a jazz bar in art deco style and play rap music. If your budget allows, hiring an interior designer is a good idea. 

7. Purchase Your Inventory

Choose a wine and beer merchant who gives you a good deal on a regular supply and if you’re serving food and snacks, decide if you’re going to buy from a wholesaler or super/hypermarket. 

8. Buy a Point of Sale System

A good point of sale system will not only process, manage and report on sales but will also help you track and control inventory, assisting you in the key processes of restocking, budgeting and accounting. If you don’t have a fully-integrated system, you need an accounting system to keep track of how your business is doing.

9. Hire staff

Your staff is the face of your bar so hire the right people. If you are going to appoint a bar manager look for experience and fit to how you want your concept to come alive. An experienced bar manager should be able to help in the recruitment and training of junior staff. There are recruitment agencies that specialize in staff for the hospitality industry. 

The better you plan, the better your chance of success. Make a checklist for opening your bar and you’re off to a good start.


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