by Dan Plevak
As mentioned in a previous post, the Georgia Department of Revenue has issued a bulletin regarding its new policy of issuing temporary alcohol licenses to certain applicants during the pendency of a thorough and final application investigation.
In short, this means that a restaurant may in effect begin operations before its final license is issued. On its face, this a great development as many times applicants are rushed to get their alcohol licenses issued for opening, and the State license is the last license to be issued after an applicant goes through the local process with the county or city.
However, an applicant must keep several things in mind.
Once the temporary license is issued, the applicant must still be available to respond to follow-up requests from Revenue Agents and respond to documentation. This could present challenges to small and large operators, who will need to ensure the final applicant process moves smoothly while they are juggling all of the time commitments that come with launching a new business.
Additionally, there is no guarantee that a final license will be issued. As a result, a new business that begins operations may find that there is a defect with the application, or the applicant is not in fact fit to hold a license for something such as a criminal matter, tied-house prohibition, or tax issue. This would be devastating to a business and its employees as it would potentially have to shut down alcohol service either temporarily, or perhaps permanently.
As a result, even though the requirements for a temporary license do not require a full investigation, it is even more important than ever for an applicant to ensure it qualifies for a license on the front end to ensure it does not have to shut down any existing alcohol sales.
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Craft Beer (Heady Insights)
Employment (Employment Law: News and Notes)
Real Estate (The Latest Dirt)