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MLCC Urges Those Seeking Special Liquor Licenses for Summer Events to Apply Soon

With summer just around the corner, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is urging licensees and nonprofit organizations to plan ahead when seeking a “special” liquor license for the 2023 outdoor hospitality season. Special licenses, which are also known as the one-day license, allow nonprofits in Michigan to serve alcoholic beverages at outdoor, fundraising, and other specialty events.

"Once you know the date of your event, be sure to submit an application for a special liquor license right away,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “We will soon start processing thousands of Special License applications for summer events over the next few months. To help us avoid delays, please submit your applications as soon as you can.”

Requests made to the MLCC for special liquor licenses increase sharply this time of year for outside patio parties, street events, and beer tents. MLCC rules require that nonprofit organizations submit their request ten (10) days prior to the event. 

However, due to the high demand during this season, applicants are urged to submit requests well before the 10-day period to ensure ample processing time for the MLCC. Any late applications (received by the MLCC within 10 days of the event) could result in a license not being issued. 

The MLCC reminds nonprofit organizations that they must be authorized to do business in Michigan to be issued a Special License.  Nonprofit organizations must be registered as a nonprofit corporation and in good standing with the Michigan Corporations Division.

Establishments that are already licensed to serve alcohol but are not legally permitted to serve guests in outdoor areas are also required to file an application for temporary outdoor service for specific events or to request permanent permission to utilize the outdoor area throughout the year.

For more information on how to apply for special or one-day liquor licenses or for more information about the MLCC, please visit

The mission of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) is to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through regulation of those involved in the sale and distribution of these alcohol beverage products.

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