Skip to main content

Your local TABC

Protest a License

The protest process lets communities challenge a business’ alcohol license or permit application if they believe there is a risk to public safety. Local government officials and, in some cases, members of the public can file a protest with us.

The Protest Process

How to Protest

  1. Make sure you meet the requirements listed on this page and have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.
  2. Download the form below.
  3. Fill out the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader and click the “Email” button at the bottom. This will open up your preferred email client so you can send your complaint to us.

You can also mail or submit the form in person to your local TABC office.

Who Can File a Protest

Under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, only certain people can protest. The following officials can protest the issuance of any type of original or renewal permit:

  • Mayor
  • City council member
  • County commissioner
  • County judge
  • Chief of police
  • City marshal
  • City attorney
  • County sheriff
  • County or district attorney

These officials can protest the original or renewal Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE) and a Wine and Beer Retailer's On-Premise Permit (BG, treated as a license for cancellation purposes).

Members of the public can protest the issuance of certain original licenses and permits that allow the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption if they live within 300 feet of the business, and if the business does not hold a TABC Food and Beverage Certificate. The public can protest the following original licenses and permits:

  • Private Club Permit (N)
  • Mixed Beverage Permit (MB)
  • Brewpub Permit (BP)
  • Retail Dealer's On-Premise License (BE)
  • Wine and Beer Retailer's On-Premise Permit (BG)

Members of the public can protest any original or renewal application for a license or permit operated by a sexually oriented business.

When to File a Protest

A protest against an original license or permit can be filed at any point between the time the application was first submitted to TABC and the date the applicant's license/permit was issued.

A protest against the renewal of a business' license or permit must be filed no earlier than 60 days and no later than 30 days before the business' license/permit is due for renewal. Protests which are received outside this window will be processed as complaints and set for investigation by TABC.

Rejected Protests

If a protest is submitted by an unauthorized person or outside of the allowed time, we register it as a complaint against the business and our Enforcement Division investigates it. If the investigation discovers wrongdoing by the business, the business could be subject to TABC administrative penalties such as fines or a temporary suspension of their license or permit. Cases with serious violations or risks to public safety could cancel the business' license or permit as allowed under state law.

Helpful Links