Late Payment to Distributors Can Land a Vendor on the “No Sale” List
Florida alcoholic beverage vendors can end up on the Delinquent Account List–also called the “No Sale” List–if they fail to timely pay a distributor’s invoice. When a vendor purchases alcoholic beverages from a distributor, the vendor’s payment must be delivered no later than the 10th day after the calendar week in which the sale was made, according to Florida’s “Tied House Evil” Statute (Florida Statutes Section 561.42(3)-(5)). When payment is late, the distributor can start the process to include the vendor on the No Sale List.
While a vendor is on the No Sale List, the vendor is prohibited from purchasing alcohol and all distributors are prohibited from selling alcohol to the vendor. This prohibition continues for as long as the vendor is on the No Sale List.
How a Vendor Gets on the No Sale List
Distributors are required to notify the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) when a vendor fails to pay an invoice by the 10th day after the calendar week in which the sale was made. After receiving notice from the distributor, the ABT is required to provide written notice to the vendor about the distributor’s report. The vendor, within 5 days after receipt of the ABT’s notice, may take one of three steps:
- Pay the distributor’s invoice and provide proof of payment to the ABT;
- Provide to the ABT “good cause” for why the vendor should not be included on the No Sale List; or
- Demand a hearing.
If the vendor fails to take one of these three steps, or if the ABT determines that the vendor does not have good cause to avoid payment of the invoice, then the ABT will place the vendor on the No Sale List.
How a Vendor Gets Off the No Sale List
While a vendor is included on the No Sale List, the vendor is prohibited from purchasing alcoholic beverages and all distributors are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages to the vendor. To remove the vendor from the No Sale List, one of the following steps is required:
- The vendor provides the ABT proof that it has paid the distributor’s invoice;
- The distributor files with the ABT a Delinquent Account Release Form; or
- The vendor provides good cause to the ABT for why the vendor should be removed from the No Sale List.
“Good cause” for preventing the vendor from going on the No Sale List, if provided within 5 days of the ABT’s notice, or getting the vendor removed from the No Sale List, may include payment, failure of consideration provided by the distributor (for example, the distributor failed to deliver the invoiced products) or any other defense which would be considered sufficient in a common law action. Whether or not good cause exists is determined by the Director of the ABT and is reviewable by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Do you have questions about Florida’s No Sale List or how to get off it? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
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