Bars, restaurants, liquor stores, convenience stores and grocery stores located in unincorporated Lake County must apply for a liquor license if they wish to sell alcohol. The County Board Chairman is head of the Liquor Commission and appoints members who vote to issue liquor licenses to individual applicants.
Applicants for liquor licenses must contact the County Board Office at 847-377-2300.
For more information regarding the liquor license process, classifications for which licenses are available, and other pertinent information regarding liquor regulations, please refer to the Liquor Control Ordinance, Chapter 111.
Requirements and Steps for Obtaining a Liquor License
An application fee of $250 is due at the time of application. This fee will be applied to the License fee upon approval. If the license application is denied or if the application is not completed, the fee is non- refundable. All documentation including all approvals of other agencies and fingerprints, must be submitted to the Commission before an application will be considered complete and scheduled for a hearing. The applicant is responsible for completing all requirements required by the Lake County, Illinois Code of Ordinance. Please see Chapter 111 of the Lake County, Illinois Code of Ordinances for complete requirements of all applications.
- Completed Application
Every line must be filled in. Please note, there are different applications and requirements for corporations, partnerships, individuals, and managers. A manager application is required for any applicant that is not a resident of the county, and the manager must be a Lake County resident.
- Local criminal background check from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Please take the attached Criminal Background Form to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, 25 S. Martin Luther King Ave. in Waukegan for processing (847-377-4000).
- State and Federal criminal background fingerprinting to be filed with the Liquor Control Commission. Please contact Above Biometrics at 224-286-4595 to schedule an appointment or see when their mobile unit will be in your area. Above Biometrics is located at 250 Parkway Dr., Ste. 150, Lincolnshire, IL 60069. For a corporation, fingerprinting is required for all officers and persons owning more than 5% of the stock of the corporation. For a partnership, fingerprinting is required for all partners.
- Three (3) Letters of Reference for each Applicant. The letters must be from a reputable business firm not in the liquor business identifying that the applicant is of good character.
- Legal Proof of Possession of Property where liquor is to be sold, i.e. Deed (If property is in trust, stating who the beneficial owners are), contract for Deed, signed Lease (must cover the period of the license - July 1 through June 30. If property is in trust, stating who the beneficial owners are).
- a. Deed (If property is in trust, stating who the beneficial owners are)
- b. Contract for Deed
- c. Lease (must cover the period of the license - July 1 through June 30. If property is in trust, stating who the beneficial owners are)
- Certification from the Lake County Health Department that the proposed licensed premise is in conformity with all regulations and ordinances of said department. You must contact the Lake County Health Department, Environmental Health Services, at 847-377-8040, to arrange for inspection of the premises. The applicant is responsible for communicating with the Lake County Health Department and submitting the required approval to the Lake County Liquor Control Commission.
- Certification from the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department, 847-377-2600, that proposed licensed premise is in conformity with all regulations and ordinances of said department. The applicant is responsible for communicating with the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department and submitting the required approval to the Lake County Liquor Control Commission.
- If applicable, a “Relinquishment Upon Sale” form, to be completed by the current license holder, if applicable.
- In the case of a Corporation, please submit a copy of the Articles of Incorporation.
- Applicant Personal Contact and Basic Information Form.
- Proof of Liquor Liability Insurance (Certificate of Liquor Liability Insurance).
- Certificate of Completion of the BASSET Program for each Applicant (including managers). Please contact the College of Lake County, at 847- 543-2026, to register for this course. Online Courses are accepted, as long as they are approved by the State of Illinois. Please visit their website for further detail. Please visit the BASSET web page for further detail.
- If the owner does NOT live in Lake County, a Manager Application must be completed.
Once all requirements have been fulfilled and submitted to the Liquor Control Commission, the Liquor Control Commission will review and determine if/when a hearing will be scheduled. You will receive a letter from the Lake County Liquor Control Commission informing you of the date.
Please note, if you are approved for a Lake County Liquor License, you must also apply for a State of Illinois Liquor License. Application forms are available on the State of Illinois Liquor Commission’s website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/Pages/Home.aspx. You can also contact them at (312)814-2206 or [email protected] for more information.
License to Conduct Raffle in Unincorporated Lake County
Application for Special Use Permit Class D
Licensed establishments are required to obtain and maintain a valid video gaming terminal permit from Lake County to operate any video gaming terminal. Read the Lake County Video Gaming Ordinance for more information. Applicants for gaming permits must contact the County Board Office at 847-377-2300. View Video Gaming Statement