License Commission


The License Commission adopts rules and regulations for licenses and license activity that address matters of local interest in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth. It is the local authority for licenses affecting:

  • Alcoholic Beverage Retail
  • Common Victualler (Restaurant & Prepared Food Service)
  • Entertainment in an Alcoholic Beverage licensed establishment
  • Lodging houses
  • Pawnbroker, Precious metals, Second hand articles
  • Public amusements
  • Second hand Motor Vehicle Dealer
  • Sidewalk Stands

Most permits that are co-requisites for License Commission Licenses are available through Development Services here: Development Services

Application Deadlines

  • Complete applications & Fees must be submitted 4 business days before the next meeting. This allows us to review your materials before adding you to the legally required public notice of the agenda, which must be posted 2 days before the meeting.
  • An application is not complete until all supporting documents are provided, and all fees are paid.
  • Once Legal Public Notice of a meeting agenda is published, late submissions cannot, by law, be brought before the Commission in meeting. 

Meeting Schedule

  • License Commission meetings are governed by Open Meeting Law (Commonwealth).
  • Usually every two or three weeks, on Thursdays at 6:00 PM.
  • Unless otherwise specified in the meeting notice:
    City Hall, 2nd floor, Council Chamber
    375 Merrimack Street
    Lowell, MA 01852
  • License Commission Meeting Schedule:
    2024 License Commission Meeting Schedule(Meeting dates are subject to change.)

Notice of meeting is filed with the City Clerk at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Notice of meeting is on the bulletin board outside of City Hall in the JFK Plaza, and on the City of Lowell's online Agenda Center.

Meeting Agendas, Minutes, & Videos

Sign up to receive notifications of License Commission meetings and read the agenda when it's posted.
Go here: Detailed illustrated directions (PDF): Directions for "Notify Me"

You can find the minutes and videos of previous meetings at the City of Lowell "Agenda Center," here:

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes.

Policy & Requirements

In accordance with License Commission policy: "An individual, a corporate officer, a manager of record or any other person who will be directly responsible for the business, entertainment, or special event for which a license is requested shall be required to appear at a meeting of the Lowell License Commission when said licensing board is scheduled to review the application filed by or on behalf of an individual, corporation, partnership, club, or association." 

Businesses operating under a name that is different from their legal entity name must, by state law, apply for a business certificate (also called DBA or "Doing Business As") with the City of Lowell : (M.G.L. ch.110 §5). You can apply for a Business Certificate to operate a DBA in the City of Lowell here: City of Lowell Clerk's Office

As of May 20, 2021, the License Commission requires that annual license applications include a work history for the business owner(s) and manager(s). You may attach a resume or CV that includes relevant experience. 

Complete applications with all required documents must be received at least four business days before a meeting to be added to that meeting’s agenda for review by the License Commission. Only complete applications with all required information, supporting documents, and fees paid will be processed.

All one-day licenses for alcohol require that the alcohol be purchased from a state approved distributor or brewer. The list of currently approved MA Distributors is available here:  

Bartenders serving under "Special One-Day Permit" to serve alcohol are expected to be TIPs Certified for On-Premises:

The licensing board may adopt rules and regulations in compliance with the Massachusetts General Laws and the Lowell Code of Ordinances.

License Commission

Title Member Name Term Exp. Date
Chair Martha Howe 1/25/2028
Member Cliff Krieger 6/30/2025
Member Joseph Donahue 6/30/2029
Member Dennis Mercier 6/30/2029
Member Andrew Taing 6/30/2029
Secretary John Pyers     

Most applications are fillable PDF forms that should be typed. 

Get Free Adobe Reader here: