How to Get Your Bartending license in Illinois?

A bartender’s duties extend beyond taking orders, preparing and serving drinks, and interacting with customers. Bartenders assist in stocking up liquor supplies, preventing wastage of products, checking customers’ age verification documents, changing the kegs, and using other equipment at the bar.


How to become a bartender in Illinois?

To work as a bartender in Illinois, you must obtain a license from ILCC (Illinois Liquor Control Commission). ILCC grants permit to people who have completed BASSETT (Beverage Alcohol Sellers & Servers Education & Training) and are older than 21 years.

To become a bartender in Illinois and obtain a license from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), you will need to follow these steps:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements: You must be 21 years old and have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  • Complete a Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training (BASSET) course: This mandatory training program teaches you the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. You can complete this training in person or online.
  • Apply for a bartender license: You must complete and apply for a bartender license to the ILCC. The application will ask for your personal information, including your name, address, and SSN or ITIN.
  • Pay the required fee: You must pay a fee for your bartender license application. The fee amount may vary depending on the type of establishment where you will be working.

    The cost of a Retail liquor license is $750.00. Except local liquor license you need to have Sales Tax number or Illinois Business Tax (IBT) number. Additionally,  you will need Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) before you can receive your state retail liquor license.

  • Pass a background check: The ILCC will conduct a background check on you to ensure that you have not been convicted of any crimes that would disqualify you from obtaining a bartender license.
  • Wait for approval: Once you have submitted your application, paid the fee, completed the BASSET training, and passed the background check, the ILCC will review your application and either approve or deny your bartender license.
  • Renew your license: Your bartender license will expire after three years in Illinois (Illinois state law Public Act 098-0939 ), so you must renew it to keep it valid.

Overall, becoming a bartender in Illinois requires completing the BASSET course, applying for a bartender license from the ILCC, meeting the eligibility requirements, paying the fee, passing a background check, and waiting for approval.

The cost of a Retail liquor license is $750.00.


Given below are the detailed steps to acquire the requisite education and skills to become a bartender in Illinois:

  1. Join a bartending educational or training program in a good institute or school. There are various bartending institutes in the state of Illinois. The majority of the bartending courses can be completed in around two weeks. These programs generally impart learning about the preparation of mixed drinks, presentation of products, knowledge of drink ingredients, and related areas. The curriculum of these courses aligns with the requirements of BASSETT.
  2. Apply for the BASSET license at ILCC. In addition to your application, you must submit a copy of your bartending training and course completion certificate. As of 2019, you must pay $350 as application fees for the BASSET license.
  3. Some bartending training institutes also extend placement assistance for the students. So, try getting a job through placement, if possible. Alternatively, you can look up bartender job vacancies around your city. Meanwhile, keep practicing what you learned at the training institute. Most employers will evaluate your skills by asking you to mix drinks or do similar tasks.

Let us see How to Get a Liquor License:

The goals and objectives of the BASSET Program are:

  • Promote the responsible sale, service, and consumption of alcohol: BASSET training teaches sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages how to identify and prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and other risky behaviors associated with alcohol consumption.
  • Reduce alcohol-related harm: By educating sellers and servers on responsible alcohol service practices, BASSET aims to reduce the negative consequences associated with the misuse of alcohol, such as alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and deaths.
  • Comply with state and local alcohol laws and regulations: The BASSET program helps ensure that sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages are aware of the legal requirements for serving alcohol in Illinois and comply with those laws and regulations.
  • Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty: Responsible alcohol service practices can lead to better customer experiences, higher customer satisfaction, and increased loyalty to the establishment where alcohol is served.
  • Protect the establishment from liability: By training staff on responsible alcohol service practices, the establishment can minimize the risk of liability associated with alcohol-related incidents, such as accidents, injuries, and lawsuits.
Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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