Alcohol Licensing for Events

November 23, 2015

When is a Special Event Permit required?

Special event permits are required when the provision of alcohol is tied to any monetary exchange or transfer of funds, and the location where the event will be held does not hold a state retail alcohol license. This would include the outright selling of alcoholic beverages at an event (cash bar) as well as other methods for charging, such as entry fees or donations.

For example, if a group or individual has a fund-raising party where an admission fee is charged and alcoholic beverages are provided, then a Special Event Permit is required. All alcoholic beverages for the event must be acquired from wholesale distributors as required by Georgia’s three-tier system for alcohol distribution. On the other hand, if a group or individual has a wedding reception or a birthday party where alcohol is provided to guests with no expectation of payment, then a Special Event Permit would not be required. In this instance, the alcohol must be obtained by the party host from a Georgia licensed retailer of alcoholic beverages.

All applications must be submitted electronically through the Georgia Tax Center. Please request and ensure all requirements have been met for a Special Event Permit a minimum of (10) days prior to the start date of the event. The Department will accept requests with an earlier start date, but cannot make any guarantees that the license will be issued in time for the event.