How do small Florida alcoholic beverage vendors take advantage of Florida distributors’ volume discounts (See Alcohol Distributors’ Discounts Under Florida Law)? The answer is a pool buying group. (Disclaimer: it works for large vendors too.)
How to Jump Into a Florida Pool Buying Group
To form a pool buying group, a pool buying agreement must be approved by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), according to Florida Administrative Code Section 61A-40.0501. The pool buying agreement must include the following information:
- Name and address of the pool buying group
- Name of the buying agent
- Name, DBA, license number and date of membership for each member of the group
An executed copy of the pool buying agreement should be sent to the ABT’s Pool Buying Section in Tallahassee.
After a pool buying the agreement has been approved, changes to the pool membership, the buying agent, or the agreement must be submitted to the ABT’s Pool Buying Section along with Form ABT-6010.
The Pool Buying Agent Places Orders for the Group
The key to a pool buying group is the pool buying agent (the “Agent”). Distributors are authorized to accept pool orders and payment only from the Agent. Members of the pool buying group must place their orders with the Agent, and they must pay to the Agent the cost of their order.
The Agent’s orders must be placed under the name of the pool buying group and include each pool member’s part of the order. Both the Agent and the distributor are required to keep invoices that reflect each pool member’s portion of a pool buying as well as a master invoice that includes all of the members’ orders. The invoices must include the following information:
- The date of the order.
- The name of the distributor with whom it was placed.
- The names and license numbers of each pool member participating in the pool order.
- The brand, size and quantity of alcoholic beverages ordered by each pool member.
- The cost to each member for its share of the pool order and any vinous and spirituous beverage discount given on the pool order.
Important Note: If payment is not timely made for a pool buying order, the entire pool buying group and all of its members will be considered delinquent accounts and included on the ABT’s “No Sale” List. See Florida’s “No Sale” List and How to Get Off It.
Alcohol Can Be Transferred Between Group Members
One member of a pool buying group is permitted to transfer alcoholic products to another member of the group. Any such transfer must be treated as a sale of products from one vendor to the other. This is an exception to the general rule that prohibits one licensed vendor from purchasing alcohol from another licensed vendor. See Florida Statutes Section 561.14.
Where one group member sells alcohol to another member, it must be reflected on an invoice or other written record that includes the following information:
- The name and license number of each vendor.
- The name, sizes, and quantities of the products transferred.
- The date of original delivery of products from the pool order.
- The date physical transfer of products was made from one group member to the other
- A unique identifier that links the record with the pool order.
Do you have questions about Florida pool buying groups? Contact us at email@example.com to schedule a consultation.
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