How to Get a Georgia Alcohol License: A Complete Guide

If you want to sell, distribute, or manufacture alcohol in the State of Georgia you must obtain several alcohol licenses. The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) requires alcohol permits at the state level while the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires a Federal Basic Permit. Additionally, each local municipality requires its own license.

In this post, we will break down the various licensing requirements and show you how to get a Georgia alcohol license:

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Understand the types of state licenses

The Georgia DOR issues a variety of different alcohol licenses. These licenses vary considerably in what they permit you to do. As such, it is important to understand the different options so you can choose the license that best suits your needs.

Below are the different types of state-level alcohol licenses:

Retailers

These licenses let individuals and businesses sell alcohol at various physical locations.

Special Event

These permits give the holder temporary permission to sell alcohol at events that would typically require a retail license.

Brewpub

This license allows eating establishments to brew and sell their own beer or malt beverages.

Manufacturers In-State

These licenses allow the holder to distill, import, or broker the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Wholesaler/Distributor

This license lets people sell alcoholic beverages to other wholesaler dealers, retail dealers, and other retail consumption dealers.

Check your local requirements

Before you can apply for a state alcohol license with the DOR, you must get licensed at the local level. Each local jurisdiction has its own set of alcohol licenses. The DOR will ask to see proof of your local license when submitting your application.

Keep in mind that some counties in Georgia are dry counties, meaning they do not permit the sale of alcohol. Others are moist counties, meaning they allow the sale of some kinds of alcohol but not others. You want to check with your local county to ensure you are aware of all regulations.

Get a surety bond

The Georgia DOR requires alcohol sellers and distributors to post a Georgia surety bond as part of the licensing process. The bonds help ensure that the licensee adheres to all licensing requirements and allow the government and public to seek financial compensation for damages caused by the licensee.

The required bond amount for Georgia alcohol bonds varies depending on the type of license. Below are the required amounts for a few popular bonds:

  • Liquor Broker Tax Bond: $2,500
  • Liquor Importer Tax Bond: $5,000
  • Liquor Manufacturer Distiller Tax Bond: $10,000
  • Brewpub License Performance and Tax Liability Bond: $20,000
  • Distilled Spirits License Performance and Tax Liability Bond: $5,000
  • Distilled Spirits Wholesaler License Bond: $5,000

Regardless of the bond value, you only need to pay a small percentage of the total amount as a premium. When the surety company issues your bond, they will determine your exact premium. For well-qualified contractors, this can be as low as 1% of the bond amount.

Several local municipalities through Georgia have their own bonding requirements. For example, in Monroe County, wine retailers must get a retailer of wine bond. You should check with your county and city to ensure that you get all the bonds that you need.

Submit alcohol license application

After you have your local license and surety bond, you can apply for your state-level Georgia alcohol license. You can complete the process online using the Georgia Tax Center web portal

When submitting your application, you will need to provide the following documents:

Additional documents may be required depending on the type of license. In addition to the application form and supporting materials, you will also need to pay a license fee. You can view the DOR fee schedule to find the fee for your license type.

How EZ Surety Bonds can help with a Georgia alcohol license

When you are ready to get your Georgia alcohol license, EZ Surety Bonds can help you meet the local and state bonding requirements quickly and conveniently. Find the bond you need and apply online or get in touch to learn more.