Any restaurant owner in Georgia knows that it can be difficult to navigate the state alcohol licensing process. However, effective September 4, 2012 new policies and procedures will be in place with the Georgia Department of Revenue that should simplify alcohol and tobacco licensing and renewals (which means quicker turnaround times, less headache and lower legal fees if you have an attorney helping with your licensing). Below are the key things you should know about the new process:
2. Delayed Processing. Between August 28 and Sept. 4, no licenses will be processed as the DOR transitions into its new program. If you have already obtained your valid local alcoholic beverage license and a state sales tax number (which can be obtained online at no cost) and have recently filed a complete DOR application or are ready to file a complete DOR application prior to August 24, you may be able to obtain a short term temporary license valid until Sept. 20, allowing you time to re-apply on-line after Sept. 4. GRA members who are in this situation and would like assistance evaluating their position and available options at no charge may email email@example.com or call (678) 336-7160.
3. Staggering of Renewal Dates. Although there have been recent changes in the law that allow the DOR Commissioner to stagger renewal dates, the DOR is going to wait and see if the current problems can be resolved by the new e-filing mandate. As such, we won’t know until 2013 whether we will see staggered renewals for alcohol licenses. Tobacco licenses will have staggered renewal dates (see below).
4. Tobacco Licenses. Although tobacco licenses have historically been effective until a change of ownership or termination of business, starting in 2013, these licenses will have to be renewed annually. There will be a $10 fee associated with the renewal and the renewal will have to be completed on-line.
If you have any questions about these new procedures or any other aspect of alcohol licensing and compliance, please do not hesitate to contact Michele Stumpe or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.