Post-Licensing Changes that require Update and Approval
When you finally receive the necessary licenses to operate your beverage business in Florida from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), it’s incredibly exciting and relieving. However, it’s important to remember that your relationship with these organizations is ongoing, and there may be circumstances in which you need to update them about changes in your business. In this post, we will discuss some of the changes that require post-licensing compliance on your end.
Have There Been Changes in the Company’s Owners or Managers?
One significant change that needs to be reported is any alteration in the company’s owners or managers. According to Florida laws and regulations, additional owners must be reported before taking ownership of a business. At the federal level, a change in ownership of 10% or greater must be reported to the TTB within 30 days. It’s also important to report employees who have managerial authority regarding compliance with alcoholic beverage regulations to both the TTB and ABT.
Have There Been Changes to the Licensed Premises?
Another change that should be reported is any modifications to the licensed premises. Sometimes, the premises may be converted to serve a different purpose. For example, a space used for retail might become a space used for manufacturing or vice versa. If changes like these occur, or if the licensed premises is expanded through leasing or acquiring an adjoining unit, or if there are alterations to the interior barriers separating different areas, it’s necessary to report these changes to the TTB and ABT. Approval must be obtained for any major structural changes before making any modifications, but if that hasn’t happened, the changes should be reported as soon as possible.
Did the Licensed Company Begin Using Offsite Storage?
If your licensed company starts using offsite storage for alcoholic beverage products, it’s important to note that they must be stored in permitted areas. Storing products offsite requires a state storage permit for the storage area. At the federal level, manufacturers may need to request a variance if they want to store products offsite. If permission to store products offsite wasn’t obtained in advance, an application should be made as soon as possible to secure the necessary permission.
Is the Licensed Company Operating Under a Different or Additional Trade Name?
If your licensed company operates under a different or additional trade name, it must be reported to the TTB and ATB. This is particularly important at the state level when the beverage company adopts different signage. Additionally, filing a licensing amendment with the TTB is necessary if a contracted manufacturer packages beverage products using the trade name of its customer, which is indicated in the “manufacturer and bottled by” statement on all packages.
Did the Manufacturing Company Begin Making Alcoholic Beverages of a Different Commodity Type?
It’s crucial to obtain the right licenses if your manufacturing company begins making alcoholic beverages of a different commodity type. For instance, a manufacturer with federal and state brewing licenses cannot start making cider or other products classified as wine without obtaining federal and state winery licenses. Similarly, a distillery cannot produce beer for sale to wholesalers or retail customers without federal and state brewing licenses, even though making “distiller’s beer” is a common step in the distilling process. These activities should be suspended until the appropriate licenses are obtained.
Did the Manufacturing Company Begin Making Non-Alcoholic Beverages or Food Products?
In Florida, if your manufacturing company begins producing non-alcoholic beverages or food products, you need to obtain a Wholesale/Manufactured Food Establishment Permit issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Until the permit is obtained, manufacturing these products should be put on hold.
For Manufacturers and Wholesalers, Are All Alcoholic Beverage Brands That Are Offered for Sale Registered With The ABT?
For manufacturers and wholesalers, it’s essential to register all distinctive brands of beer, wine, and distilled spirit products with the ABT before selling them in commerce.
After obtaining licenses from the TTB and ATB for your beverage business in Florida, it’s important to stay in compliance by updating these organizations about any changes in your business. Whether it’s changes in ownership or management, modifications to the licensed premises, offsite storage, trade name changes, production of different types of beverages or food products, or registering brands for sale, it’s crucial to follow the appropriate procedures and report these changes promptly. By doing so, you can maintain a successful and compliant operation for your beverage business in Florida.
Because we’re attorneys: Disclaimer. Posted June 11, 2023.