So, You Want To Own A Bar?

A Typical Bar

Have you had a dream where you were enjoying a cold cocktail in your own bar? And now you want to make that dream come true? Wait a minute – don’t start throwing money around, get to know the building blocks of owning a bar. Regardless of the field, when it comes to setting up a new business, there isn’t a magic wand that can tackle all the issues and propel you to the top. The fact is that owning and running a bar isn’t always a walkover; you need first to understand and consider the fundamentals of the industry. So, how do you go about owning a bar business?

Start-up or Takeover?

When interested in owning a bar, you need to decide whether you want to buy and fix up your favorite bar across the street or start your bar from scratch. Note that both options have their pros and cons. Pick one that suits your needs best.

When buying an existing bar, you will have to consider factors such as repair and renovation costs, goodwill cost, outstanding rent and other expenses. On the other hand, if you start from scratch, you must consider the location, permits, the concept of the bar and commercial equipment required in a bar.

The Legal Factors

Are you opening a local or out-of-town bar? Bar ownership permits, rules and regulations vary depending on not only municipalities but also states. The truth is, before you start tapping into those kegs and serving mojito, you will have to navigate your way through a sea of rules and regulations and paperwork.

In addition to the bar license and permits, you will also have to handle legal documents concerning insurance, taxes, health, worker safety, liability and even sexual harassment. However, before you delve into all the legal paperwork, start by getting an EIN. An Employer Identification Number will give you a head start when dealing with those crucial documents.


The bar market can be brutal; choose a wrong, and you will always be dealing with losses. While factors such as capital, trademark and the concept behind the business influence the performance of your bar, the success of your bar may entirely depend on its location. Remember, you don’t want to own any bar, you want a bar that is the go-to place in town. Wish to actualize your college dream and own the funkiest bar? Then pick a location that is suitable for your ideal clientèle.

Here is a good video talking about bar ownership:

Be Practical

One last tip: Not aiming to kill your buzz, but be realistic. Of course, you have something in mind regarding the type of bar you would like to own, but limit your ideas to facts and not your fantasies. Practical ideas will go a long way from allowing you to own a bar to creating a great business track record.

Many people have the urge to own bars but lack the understanding required to achieve this goal. Do a thorough research, ask for advice from experts, make all the right decision and in no time, you will realize your dream and own a bar.

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