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Outdoor dinning

Apply for an Alcohol License, Annual - On Premise

License Commission

Annual alcohol licenses for on premise consumption are issued by the License Commission pursuant to and in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws c. 138. The processing of an application takes about four to six weeks.  If the License Commission approves the application, it is submitted to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for final approval.  The process from filing to receipt of final approval takes at least eight to ten weeks.

How to Start

Step 1:

You must apply with both Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission ("ABCC") and the Cambridge License Commission. You may obtain the ABCC application here. You must complete the proper application with all required documents attached thereto, and submit it to the Cambridge License Commission. On approval from the Cambridge License Commission we will forward your application to the ABCC for final approval. 

To apply with the Cambridge License Commission you must apply online at in our licensing system. Please note you will also be asked to submit a License Commission Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form (for all owners and the proposed manager of record). 

Step 2:

You must submit a $100.00 hearing fee  and $25 application fee for all alcohol related licenses. If the transaction requires to be advertised, you will also be asked to provide a $75.00 advertising fee.
You must also submit a $10.00 fee per CORI waiver form.

Step 3:

A hearing will be scheduled.  If it was an advertised matter, you must send copy of the advertisement to all legal abutters and schools and churches within a 500 feet radius within three days of being advertised. You must submit no later than the hearing date, an Affidavit of Notice to Abutters. 

ADVERTISEMENT- Notice to Abutters


Step 4:

An owner and the manager of record must appear at the hearing before the Board of License Commissioners.  If the Board approves the application, it is submitted to the ABCC for final approval. 

Step 5:

Once final approval is received, final sign off from Inspectional Services building and health departments will be requested through the system; you must also submit proof of the successful completion of a safe serve alcohol program for all owners, employees who will handle and serve alcohol, and the manager of record.

Step 6:

Once all final required documents are provided to the License Commission, the applicant must submit the annual license fee and the license will issue. 


Provide required forms:

  • ABCC Application
  • Criminal Offender Record Information Form
  • Floor Plan
  • Business Certificate/Corporate Documents
  • Signed Lease or Letter of Intent


  • $100 Hearing Fee; 
  • $75 Advertising Fee (if applicable)
  • $25 Application Fee (alcohol related licenses to be approved by the ABCC only)
  • $10 for each CORI record check; and
  • Annual License Fee (see fee schedule).
Page was last modified on 4/16/2024 4:12 PM
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