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California: How to Sell Alcohol at a Special Event


 Providing or selling alcohol at an event in California? Learn what you have to do.

Individuals and businesses planning to host an event in California that includes the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages need to comply with all license and tax requirements. This is required for both in-state and out-of-state businesses and residents.

Parties wishing to sell alcoholic beverages at a specific location for a specific period of time should apply for a daily license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The daily licensee “must also ensure that any beer, wine, and/or distilled spirits being sold or consumed at the event are purchased from, or donated by, a California State Board of Equalization (BOE) licensed California wholesaler, manufacturer, wine grower, or importer or alcoholic beverages.”

Should the alcohol provided at the event originate at a point outside of California, “the alcoholic beverages must be consigned to a licensed California importer prior to the sale or consumption of the product.” When in doubt, seek assistance from the BOE Customer Service Center.

Temporary seller’s permit

A temporary seller’s permit is required for most all events that include sales of alcohol. Retailers are required to report the sales and use tax imposed on the sale or consumption of the alcoholic beverages. Additional information.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.