Georgia’s license requirements for out-of-state wineries have changed. Wineries selling to Georgia distributors are now required be licensed as a Manufacturer (Winery) or a Farm Winery by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Previously wineries selling to Georgia distributors were classified as Alcohol Brokers. The reason for the change is that Georgia rules and regulations do not allow anyone classified as a Wine Special Order Shipper license to hold an Alcohol Broker’s license. The holder of a Wine Special Order Shipper must be a Manufacturer (Winery) or a Farm Winery.
Wineries that completed an application to renew their Broker’s license for 2014 should check the status of their license via their Georgia Tax Center account. If your Broker’s license has been cancelled or has not been renewed for 2014 it is most likely because the GA Department of Revenue has identified you as the holder of Special Order Wine Shipper license and a Broker’s license. Wineries that have been identified by the GA Department of Revenue must change their license classification and reapply as a Manufacturer license or a Farm Winery license for 2014. Wineries that were able to successfully renew their Broker’s license and currently hold an active Broker’s license do not need to take any action at this time. However, all wineries will have to be licensed as a Manufacturer or Farm Winery in 2015.
The Department of Revenue Commissioner has stated that the affected wineries can continue to sell to licensed Georgia distributors while they work through the license classification changes. Additionally, the wholesalers have been notified and are aware of the situation. For more information, click here to read the Notice from the GA Department of Revenue.