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Commercial Permitting - Spirituous Liquor

An individual (Corporation, or LLC), requesting to participate in the manufacture, importation, distribution, bottling, transportation or representation of alcoholic beverages (spirituous liquor) must obtain a commercial ABC permit authorizing such activity. Once issued, the permit is valid until: a.) change in ownership occurs; b.) you relocate your business; or c.) you are no longer conducting business.

Before you can conduct business operations you must first obtain a.) A Federal Basic permit issued by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (Frequently Requested Forms-Form F 5100.24. Generally takes 2-3 months) Use the PHYSICAL address of your building for “FULL NAME AND PREMISES ADDRESS.” Send two completed original forms to the address located on page 3 of the form. TTB will send you a packet. The cost of the permit depends on the amount of liquor produced. Your Warehouse will be bonded through this permit; b.) The appropriate state permits/licenses; and, c.) a City / County business license.

Commercial Activity (18B-1100)
The state laws for alcoholic beverages are described in North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 18B. Each permit holder has the responsibility to abide by these laws and regulations and the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Rules. Excerpts from Chapter 18B describe the different types of commercial permits and the accompanying fees authorized by the ABC Laws. Determine the type of alcoholic beverage spirituous liquor (GS 18B-101 (14)) permit you need:

  1. Distillery permit
  2. Fuel Alcohol permit
  3. Liquor importer/bottler permit
  4. Commercial Transportation permit / Surety Bond

If the product has been sold in other states and you wish to present it to the ABC Commission for approval for sale in North Carolina, you must set up a meeting with the ABC Commissioners. (See Spirituous Liquor / New Companies)

If the product has never been sold in the United States, the product and label must be sent to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to be analyzed and the label approved. Every container of spirituous liquor including bottles or barrels, irrespective of size or of the material from which made, that is sold or offered for sale in this State shall bear a brand label (or a brand label and other permitted labels) containing the required information. This responsibility is the supplier (distillery, liquor importer/bottler).

North Carolina is a three-tier state and does not allow the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages to consumers. If the spirituous liquor product is approved by the ABC Commissioners:
       a. A licensed manufacturer-distillery, importer, bottler (first tier),
       b. May ship only to the ABC Warehouse(second tier),
       c. ABC warehouse may ship only to ABC Boards that have ordered the spirituous liquor (third tier). The supplier invoices the ABC Board.

North Carolina is a control state. Spirituous liquor may only be sold in local, county or municipal ABC stores. Refer to Local ABC Boards for more information.

Commercial Permitting Process
Apply for a Permit In State
Spirituous Liquor Permit Forms
NC Distillery and Liquor Importer/Bottler Final Requirements check list
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