Liquor-by-the-Drink - Caterer License (LBD)

A catering license allows you to sell liquor, wine, and high gravity beer at various locations in a city or county which has authorized the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption.

A catering license is valid for one year from the date of issue. You can apply for this license using RLPS.


  • A caterer operates a permanent catering hall on an exclusive basis.
  • A caterer has a complete and adequate commercial kitchen facility, which must include a fixed stove or cooktop, an oven,  a refrigerator, a freezer, a sink, and counter space necessary to prepare food for commercial purposes. 
  • A caterer is licensed as a caterer by the Tennessee Department of Health, unless the catering hall is licensed as a restaurant. 


  • Pursuant to the Fresh Start Act, no person having an interest in an LBD license may have been convicted of a crime which directly relates to the business of alcoholic beverage sales.
  • No entity holding a liquor-by-the-drink license shall employ any person to serve beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages that does not possess a server permit from the commission. That permit must be on the person of such employee, or on the premises of the licensed establishment subject to inspection by the commission or its duly authorized agent.
  • Licensed caterers may only sell alcoholic beverages on a by-the-drink basis, collecting appropriate taxes, and only in cities, municipalities, and/or counties where such sales are authorized. All proceeds from the sale of the alcoholic beverages must be deposited into the caterer’s monetary account(s). No third party shall receive any proceeds from the sale of alcoholic beverages at a catered event.
  • Licensed caterers must also provide food at the event. No caterer can provide only alcohol.
  • Licensed caterers must notify the TABC of any catered event on the notice of catered event form at least two full business days prior to the event during state working hours, prevailing time.
  • Alcohol may be transported by the caterer to the premises of the catered event no earlier than 8:00 A.M. At the conclusion of the catered event, all alcohol must be removed from the premises no later than twelve 12:00 P. M. noon of the following day.