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Keep Holiday Parties Compliant


 Drinks all around.

December is a month of special events, from office parties to fundraising events to grand holiday fêtes. It is a time of libations and festive toasts. And while many events are free to all who enter, some cost (at least at the bar). If you host such an event, you may need to obtain an alcohol license.

In Georgia, whenever an event is held in a facility without a state retail alcohol license and there is a transfer of money or funds in exchange for alcohol, a special event permit is required. Cash bars, this means you.

The Georgia Department of Revenue provides the following examples to illustrate this requirement:

  • When an admission fee is charged and alcoholic beverages are provided at a fun-raising event, a Special Event Permit is required.
    • All alcohol must be acquired from wholesale distributors
  • When alcohol is provided free of charge, as during a wedding reception or birthday party, a Special Event Permit is not required.
    • All alcohol must be obtained by the party host from a Georgia licensed retailer of alcoholic beverages

Follow these rules and everyone will be happy: the guests will get their drinks and the state of Georgia will get its alcohol tax revenue.

Special Event Permits must be obtained at least 10 days prior to the start date of the event. 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.