The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) makes every attempt to process applications for licenses and permits in a timely manner. Due to the high number of applications being received, we ask that you apply at least 45 days in advance of your event. In addition, your application should be approved by the local authority and forwarded to ABD at least 15 days prior to the effective date. ABD cannot guarantee that your application will be processed in time for your event if the application is submitted after the recommended time frame or if the application contains errors or misinformation. Please note that selling alcohol without a license or permit is a violation of the law.
Iowa law requires all alcoholic beverages retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and brokers to apply for and obtain a license or permit before doing business in the state.
The licensing process for Iowa liquor license and beer, spirits, and wine permit holders is entirely online.
To get started, log onto e-Licensing.
ABD has created an Electronic Licensing User Guide which can be downloaded as a PDF file. If you have questions regarding the application process, contact ABD's licensing section toll-free at 866.IowaABD (866.469.2223) (select option 1), locally and outside Iowa, call 515.281.7400 (select option 1), or by email at licensing@IowaABD.com. ABD's licensing staff is available Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM.
ABD's electronic licensing application has a Help feature built directly into the system. In order to access the Help feature, click on the HELP button to view the entire Electronic Licensing User Guide. Alternatively, you can click the HELP icon in any screen (located in the upper right corner), and go directly to the Help for that particular section.
Just starting your business? Visit the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) website. If your business sells food on-site or to go, visit IDR to learn which foods are taxable and which are exempt.