Georgia Liquor License Lawyers

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Liquor Licenses in Georgia

If you are involved in any aspect of the alcohol beverage industry in Georgia, you will need to know what license to obtain. Buying, selling, or distributing alcohol requires different types of licenses. In addition, there are also different licenses for various types of alcoholic beverages. To sell alcohol in Georgia, you must have one of the following types of licenses: 

Once all these licenses are approved, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) will issue a state alcohol license. There will be no further investigation. DOR issues alcohol licenses to manufacturers, wholesale distributors, retailers, and special events sponsors.

Local Liquor Licenses

The local license is first. It can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars. When you initially request an application packet, the local municipal government includes a form for the state license from DOR. The state license will only cost about $400.00. Generally, you will need to do the following:

Prove residency in the specific county or municipality
Prove U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
Complete fingerprinting and background check
Submit all completed forms and required documentation
Pay the fee
Although optional, purchase a surety bond

Surety Bonds in Georgia Liquor License Cases

A Georgia tax liability surety bond protects against nonpayment of taxes. This bond ensures that the license holder will make all the required tax payments to Georgia. In addition, some bonds also act as performance bonds. These bonds guarantee that the licensees will operate in a lawful and ethical matter. The cost for retailers is $2,500 for an alcohol tax bond. How does this bond work?

The alcohol surety bond is a legal contract between the Georgia Department of Revenue, the purchaser of the bond, and the surety bond company that underwrites and issues the bond. Failing to pay the tax from revenue or operate in a lawful and ethical way,violates the terms of the bond. Once violated, claims can be filed against the bond. This enables people who have been financially harmed to be compensated for their loss. The surety company will investigate the claims for validity. If confirmed, they will try to settle any and all claims. If unsuccessful, the insurance company pays and then seeks recovery from the purchaser of the bond.

These bonds have an annual premium which represents a small percentage of the required bond amount.The surety determines the premium rate based on the purchaser’s credit rating.

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Dennis P. Sawan

Partner

Licensed in Ohio and Georgia

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Christopher A. Sawan

Partner

Licensed in Ohio and Michigan

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