Alcohol Law

Alcohol Law

If your business deals with importation, distribution, manufacturing, or sale of alcohol, you need a license from your state’s regulatory agency. Both Oregon and Washington’s regulatory bodies have several different license types available, each with different permissions, rules, and fees. Moreover, employees may need to obtain special permits to work for your business. Navigate Law Group can help you understand which license type is right for you and how to acquire it.

Liquor Licenses

A liquor license is needed if you or your business plans to sell, manufacture, distribute or import alcohol in Oregon or Washington. Even businesses holding temporary events with on-site sales of alcohol will need to acquire a special event permit. Even auctioning or raffling alcohol in factory-sealed containers often requires a special event permit or written approval, even if a license is not required. If you have a question about whether to apply to the Washington Liquor Control Board (“LCB”) or the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (“OLCC”), call Navigate Law Group.

Alcohol Service Permit

An alcohol service permit is primarily for those who mix or serve alcohol, including waitstaff and bartenders, but are also required for supervising managers and owners even if they are not mixing or serving drinks themselves. A business cannot have one alcohol service permit; each individual must apply, pay the required fee, and wait for approval before serving alcoholic beverages. However, employees usually do not need service permits if they are selling alcohol products to be consumed off property, such as in grocery stores.

Regulatory Compliance

Compliance is not a one-time event. Instead, it is an ongoing business concern best supported by qualified legal representation. Both the OLCC and the LCB conduct ongoing compliance enforcement for all businesses subject to their jurisdiction. We can help by providing continuing operational reviews to mitigate the risk of noncompliance with local, state, and federal regulators. And if you find yourself on the wrong side of an enforcement action, we can represent you in an administrative hearing as well.

Homebrewers and Enthusiasts

Oregon and Washington are home to many homebrewers and winemaking hobbyists. State and federal laws allow for limited production of alcoholic drinks made for noncommercial use. Homebrewers may produce up to 100 gallons per year, per household with one person age 21 or older, or up to 200 gallons per household with two or more persons age 21 or older. Since many vineyards and breweries begin as homebrew operations, knowing when to start thinking about licensing is critical to any beermaking business plan. Call us if you need assistance.

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