Frequently Asked Alcohol Questions
Complimentary Beverages
I am going to give the alcohol away at my business, I will not be selling the alcohol, and will I need an alcohol license?
  Alcoholic beverages may not be provided without a license as a part of any business operation whether or not the beverages provided are complimentary. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §3-3-3
Alcohol Licenses
Which license do I get first, the local or the State?
  In order to operate a business dealing in alcohol, you must have a local alcohol license, a State alcohol license and a Federal Basic Permit. Georgia is a local option license state, which means the local licenses must be issued before the State may issue a license or permit. Official Code of Georgia Annotated§3-3-2.
Election Days
May I sell alcohol on election days?
  State law does not prohibit the sale of alcohol on election days; however, local jurisdictions may have adopted stricter ordinances that do prohibit sales on election days. Please check with your local licensing jurisdiction before selling on any election day. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 3-3-20
Server / Seller Training
My company has created an Alcohol Server Training program. Is this training mandatory in Georgia? How do I go about getting this training approved in your state?
  While it is highly encouraged, Georgia does not require Responsible Alcohol Service, Server / Seller or Owner / Manager training as a part of its alcohol-licensing program. Georgia does not approve, recommend or endorse any particular training regimen or program. Businesses are free to choose, adopt or develop a training program with which they are comfortable.
How do I (my servers) obtain an alcohol-serving permit?
  The State of Georgia does not require and does not issue server / seller permits. Consult your local licensing jurisdiction for any server / seller permit requirements.
Sacramental Wine
Is sacramental wine subject to sales and use tax when sold to a church?
  Sacramental wine is subject to sales and use tax unless it is purchased for resale to a consumer. A church may request authorization to receive wines upon which excise taxes have not been paid for use in their services. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §§ 48-8-1, 48-8-3, 48-8-30, and 3-6-70
Alcohol Legally Purchased in Another State
How much out-of-state alcohol can I legally possess?
  One may possess one-half gallon or less of liquor, two standard cases or less of beer and one-half gallon or less of wine. Official Code of Georgia § 3-3-8
Employee Age Requirements
Does State law require employees to be a certain age to simply work in a package store?
  A person must be 18 years of age or older to be employed in a retail package store regardless of the tasks assigned. Managers and licensee’s must be 21 years of age or older. Local licensing jurisdictions may have adopted stricter ordinances. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §§ 3-3-23 and 3-3-24
How old do I have to be to work in a bar or restaurant serving alcohol?
  A person must be 18 years of age or older to be employed in a bar or restaurant to serve, sell, dispense or take orders. Managers and licensee’s must be 21 years of age or older. Local licensing jurisdictions may have adopted stricter ordinances. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §§ 3-3-23 and 3-3-24
Local Taxes
How do I pay my “by the drink” taxes?
  “By the drink taxes” are local excise taxes imposed upon beverage alcohol served for consumption on the premise. Consult your local licensing jurisdiction concerning these taxes. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §§ 3-4-130 and 3-4-131
Internet Sales
Can I sell wine through the internet in such things as gift baskets?
  An entity licensed as a wine producer by the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau may apply for a Special Order Shippers license. If your business has not been issued a Special Order shippers license, shipping wine out of or within the State is prohibited. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 3-6-31 (2008)
Termination of Business
I am going out of business, what can I do with my remaining alcohol?
  Upon termination of business, contact all licensed alcohol wholesalers from whom you purchased beverage alcohol. They should buy-back items they deem fit for resale. They are allowed to impose a return or pick charge of up to 10% of the value of the merchandise bought back. For items that the wholesaler will not pick up, you may request authorization from the Department to be allowed to sell those products to another licensed retailer within the same local taxing jurisdiction. Revenue Regulation 560-2-2-.33
                                        
How do I obtain a Department of Agriculture Food Establishment License?
  Please call 404-656-3621.