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Distiller License

A distillery license allows a facility to manufacture or distill alcoholic spirituous beverages with an alcohol content of eight percent (8%) or greater by weight and to sell those beverages for consumption off premise. They can also offer samples of their manufactured product without cost or may include those samples as part of a tour of the premises with or without cost.

Anyone who wishes to distill alcoholic spirituous beverages for commercial purposes must be licensed as a manufacturer/distiller.

A Distillery License is good for one calendar year and expires on December 31st.

The forms and fees for this license are available under Public Information and Forms.


Requirements

  • You must obtain a Federal Basic Permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (ttb.gov).
  • A distillery must be located in an area that meets the requirements of T.C.A. 57-2-103.
  • Any representative of a manufacturer must have a Distiller's Representative permit before soliciting orders from any wholesaler.
  • A licensed distillery can serve free samples of the product to anyone over twenty-one (21) as a part of a public tour of the manufacturer's or distillery's premises. The location where samples are given must be disclosed to the TABC.
  • A licensed distillery can sell its product at retail for consumption off premise to any person of legal drinking age limited to five gallons (5 gal.) or one sixth (1/6) of a barrel of its product to any one (1) individual per visit to the premises.
  • Retail sales at the distillery must occur between eight o'clock a.m. (8:00 a.m.) and eleven o'clock p.m. (11:00 p.m.) on Monday through Saturday and between the hours of twelve o'clock (12:00) noon and seven o'clock p.m. (7:00 p.m.) on Sunday.
  • Product sold at retail or given for samples must be obtained from a wholesaler.

Restrictions

  • Anyone who has ownership in, or participates in, either directly or indirectly, the profits of any distillery must be disclosed to the TABC as to the nature, extent and character thereof.
  • All applicants, including stockholders or members of an LLC, must be citizens of the United States.
  • No applicant can have any conviction of any offense prohibiting or regulating the sale, possession, transportation, storing, manufacturing or otherwise handling intoxicating liquors for ten (10) years prior.
  • No applicant can have any interest in the business or building containing licensed premises of any other person having a manufacturing, wholesale, retail, or winery license or in the fixtures of any such person.
  • No employee can have any felony convictions involving moral turpitude within ten (10) years, unless rights of citizenship have been restored or judgment of infamy has been removed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

More Information
New Application Process

A non-refundable application process fee of $300.00 shall be paid when the application is initially submitted. When your application documents are almost complete, call your local TABC office and make an appointment to come in so your application can be reviewed in your presence. If you prefer to mail your application in, be sure to include your contact information.

  • Fill out and submit the Application for License to Manufacture or Distill or Rectify or Brew Alcoholic Beverages.
     
  • The application for License to Sell Alcoholic Beverages on Premise should be fully complete in duplicate, with both copies notarized.
     
  • Proof of Possession
     
    • A Lease, Deed, Bill of Sale or other acceptable documentation, indicating the applicant is actually leasing or in possession of the property, shall be furnished to this office. It is also required for the applicant to furnish a copy of the Deed that is registered with the Register of Deed's Office. These documents shall be complete and legible.
       
    • If the application is from a corporation, LLC, or partnership, the lease should be to that entity that will hold the permit.
       
  • If you have a management agreement, submit a copy to the TABC.
     
  • If you have a purchase agreement or bill of sale, submit a copy to the TABC.
     
  • If you have a loan associated with the purchase or start-up of this business, submit a copy of your loan documentation.
     
  • Fill out and submit the Alcoholic Beverage Commission Questionnaire.
     
    • Owners, partners, officers, managers and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more in the corporation/business should complete these forms. All questions should be answered, even if the answer is N/A (not applicable), and the questionnaire should be signed and notarized.
       
  • Fill out and submit the List of Corporate Stockholders and Officers with names, titles and percentages of ownership.
     
  • Fill out and submit the Declaration of Citizenship with the appropriate copies of your Identification.
     
    • Owners, partners, officers, and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more should complete the declaration of citizenship form.
       
  • Certificate of Occupancy
     
    • The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local municipality’s codes department. Please contact the local codes department in the jurisdiction in which the distillery will be located for additional information. It must be currently dated.
       
  • Submit a copy of your city/county business license.
     
  • Approval by the local government for the location.
     
  • Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Inspects the premises.
     
    • The applicant should contact the local TABC office and schedule an inspection after their application has been submitted. The agent will bring you a copy of the rules and regulations and the pregnancy warning sign.
       
  • Other documentation may be requested after your application is submitted.
     
  • Your annual license fee will be due after the application has been reviewed by the commissioners, before the license can be issued.

Secretary of State

  • Submit a copy of your Charter, Articles of Organization, or Partnership Agreement from the state of Tennessee.
     
    • (This document is required only if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) or a formal partnership.) A filed copy of the Tennessee charter must be furnished to the local TABC office. If an out-of-state charter has been issued, then approval to do business in the State of Tennessee must be obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office, 6th Floor, William Snodgrass Building, 7th Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Union Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, telephone (615) 741-2286. If a corporation is registered out-of-state, then a copy of that charter should also be furnished.
       
  • Submit a copy of the Certificate of Existence from the Secretary of State’s office if you are a corporation or LLC. This must be currently dated, within 30 days.

Department of Revenue (Link to application for registration forms)

http://www.state.tn.us/revenue/forms/liquorbydrink/index.shtml

  • Application for Registration sales and use tax
    • Submit the original application to Department of Revenue and submit a copy to the TABC. The TABC will need a copy of the sales and use tax certificate of registration when received from Department of Revenue.
       
  • Register as a manufacturer with the Department of Revenue.
     
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (link to them) http://www.ttb.gov/wine/index.shtml#
     
    • Complete the Alcohol Dealer Registration form, submit a copy of the completed form to the TABC and mail the original to the Cincinnati address for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on page 2 of the form.
       
    • Receive and submit a copy of your federal basic permit.

* All forms must be completely filled out, signed and notarized.

* All payments must be made with a money order, cashier's check or business check from the licensed establishment and made payable to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Global money orders will not be accepted.

* Notaries are available at the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission office for walk in clients. You must be present, have proper identification and the notary must witness your signature.

Renewal Information
  • All distillery permits expire December 31st, regardless of the date issued.
     
  • To renew a distillery permit, the following documents must be submitted:
     
    • Completed Application, signed and notarized
       
    • Check for $1000.00
       
    • Stockholders/Officers/Members sheet, signed and notarized
       
    • Declaration of Citizenship from managers (owners should be on file)
       
    • Copy of corporation/LLC annual report
       
    • All taxes must be current
       
    • All citations must be paid

* All forms must be completely filled out, signed and notarized.

* All payments must be made with a money order, cashier's check or business check from the licensed establishment and made payable to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Global money orders will not be accepted.

* Notaries are available at the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission office for walk in clients. You must be present, have proper identification and the notary must witness your signature.