Caterer’s License

Effective October 31, 2012, the legislature has authorized a new type of annual, all alcoholic beverages license called the “Caterer’s License”.1  The ABCC is responsible for issuing the license directly to a catering business for an annual fee of $1500.00.  An applicant who seeks a Caterer’s License must also apply for a Transportation Permit, which the ABCC also issues directly for a fee of $150.00.

The Caterer’s License is an on-premises license, which allows a caterer to sell alcoholic beverages at private events (never at the caterer’s principal place of business) for no more than five hours in a city or town that allows on-premises licensees under M.G.L. c. 138, Section 12.  Licensed Caterer’s cannot sell or deliver alcoholic beverages at events which occur in a licensed premises, i.e. a restaurant, hotel, club, etc.

In addition, the licensed caterer must:

  • Purchase its inventory of alcoholic beverages from licensed wholesalers
  • Maintain liquor liability insurance in a minimum amount of $250,000.00/$500,000.00
  • Only permit individuals who have been certified by a nationally recognized alcoholic beverages server training program to serve alcoholic beverages
  • At least 48 hours before any private event:
    1. notify the police chief and the local licensing authority that the licensed caterer will be serving alcoholic beverages in the city/town;
    2. provide a copy of the caterer’s license to the police chief and the local licensing authority;
    3. provide proof of insurance to the police chief and the local licensing authority; and
    4. provide an emergency contact number for the license manager to the police chief and the local licensing authority.

The application forms will be posted on our website.  As always, all licensees must ensure that they are in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that sales of alcoholic beverages take place only as authorized by state law.  Individuals with questions concerning this advisory may contact Ralph Sacramone at 617-727-3040 x731.

(Issued: August 29, 2012)

ABCC Caterer's Application