Out-of-state distribution is a big step for many brewers, especially when considering legalities such as licensing and determining the states that require permits to transport alcohol. In this blog, we break down alcohol transportation permits and regulations that you need to know.
Let’s get started.
Foreign Qualification and State Licensing
If you’re licensed to sell beer in your home state, it would be a different ballgame for out-of-state distribution. That’s because each state sets up its own rules and has its own governing body that would enforce those rules.
In some states, you might be required to register as a foreign qualified entity in the state where you’re planning to distribute your beer. That means there might be additional licensing obligations and business tax you need to comply with before you can transact business in that state.
If not as a foreign entity, other states require that you file for a state-specific license or register with your target state’s alcohol regulatory agency.
States That Require Permits to Transport Alcohol
Let’s say you’ve complied with all the licenses and requirements to sell beer in other states. Another thing you need to be aware of is the permits needed to transport your beer.
Alcohol transportation is largely regulated at the state level. That means alcohol-specific transportation licenses and permits are on a state-by-state basis.
Around 50% of the lower 48 states require a license or permit to transport alcohol into, through, or out of state. The scope of the permit or license varies as well.
For example, some states only require a transport permit for certain types of alcohol but not for others. Other states may require a permit only if you stop and deliver within the state, and not when you’re just passing through.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to seeking and obtaining an alcohol transport permit. To avoid roadside surprises, particular attention must be paid to each state’s rules and regulations.
You can use the table below as a general reference on the permit and agency you should contact for alcohol transport permits and licenses for each state. However, it should not be construed as legal advice. It would be best to contact the listed agencies for the most updated information.