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As alcohol industry expands, so does legal assistance

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Did you know that the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Administration (ATC) will not issue an alcohol or liquor license until all construction of the new facility is complete? George Landrum knows the rules. He wants to open the Covington Beer Garden in September, so he started applying for a liquor license early, and after the construction was completed on August 31, everything before the on-site inspection, Covington City Hall and ATC. I submitted it to.

“My best advice for business owners seeking a new liquor license is to take the time to get an early understanding of all state rules and processes before working closely with ATC, the city hall, and a lawyer who can advise you. Landrum, who plans to open a 14,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor beer garden in downtown Covington, said: The beer garden serves a variety of beers, cocktails and frozen drinks. We partner with Bootleggers to serve food.

Mr. Landrum was helped by his legal counsel when he decided to apply for a restaurant or bar application.Louisiana ATC advertises 5 options for alcohol on-premises applications – Restaurant, bar, restaurant conditional, craft brewery, craft beer distillery.There is Two alcohol off-site applications – Package store (class B) and packaged liquor store (class C). To qualify for a restaurant license, a company’s average monthly income from food and non-alcoholic beverages must exceed 50% of the total average monthly income from the sale of food, non-alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic beverages.

“We applied for a restaurant. Our business intent was qualifying and we were able to open the door to people under the age of 18 during our business hours,” Landrum said. increase. “It helped me get advice from a lawyer.”

Marshall Hebron, a partner in Adams Andriese’s New Orleans office and a member of the company’s alcohol and hospitality practices, said lawyers can best answer questions about permit classifications like Landrum.

“Compared to 10 to 15 years ago, there are many unique companies selling alcohol in breweries, distilleries, wineries, bars and restaurants that need to be properly classified,” he said. “Attorneys can answer questions about the licensing process related to classification, guide the process to business owners, and help them fully comply with government regulations.”

Follow process and zoning issues

David Halpern, a partner at Kean Miller and a leader in the company’s hospitality and entertainment business, is familiar with the requirements for city, parish, and state applications to obtain an alcohol permit. It states that it is essential for future business owners.

“With so many moving parts, the last thing you want is to delay your business because the steps to get your alcohol permit weren’t done correctly,” he said.

According to Halpan, the first step for a new business owner is to work with a city planner on specific land use, zoning, ordinance allowances.

“Everywhere in New Orleans, there are properties that require traditional use in a way that is consistent with the vision of their neighborhood,” Halpan said. “Before seeking city approval, the first thing a new future business owner seeking a liquor license should do is contact the community and provide opportunities for neighborhood reviews through a neighborhood participation program.”

Other first steps include choosing a business structure, reserving a business name, obtaining a federal tax ID number, registering a business in the state, obtaining a Louisiana tax account, and submitting an intent poster application. increase. ATC’s Louisiana office requires new on-premises applicants to promote their intentions in local newspapers and provide business information and fingerprint cards. Once all licenses and permits have been paid and you have received your license, you will need to obtain an Alcoholic Beverage Operator (ABO) card for employees who sell alcohol.

“Explaining the correct nature of your business and the physical occupancy of the building is very important to the application process,” Hebron said, with the applicant properly disclosing ownership and the ATC criminal record. He added that he needed to be able to judge suitability through checks.

Local breweries and distilleries grow law firm alcohol practices

The rise of breweries and distilleries continues nationwide, increasing the work of law firms representing these clients in licensing, distribution, marketing, production and taxes. In 2003, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Authority issued 50 spirit spirit permits. According to the American Craft Spirits Association, there are currently 2,290 American distilleries.

The number of craft beer breweries in operation reached a record high of 9,118 in 2021. Craft’s retail dollar sales increased 21% to $ 26.8 billion and now account for 27% of the US beer market of $ 100 billion. American craft beer brewery.

“The growth of the brewery shows the continued demand for their business and beer,” said Mark Solini, legal adviser to the Brewery Association. “Consumers are more adventurous and tend to drink a wider variety of products, including the desire to try local homebrewing options. This allows brands to move rapidly from unknown to known in the market. I was able to do.”

Recognizing the rise of the booming hospitality industry in May, Adams and Reese have set up a dedicated alcohol and hospitality team Joined by nationally recognized liquor lawyers Rob Pinson and Will Cheek, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Pinson helped establish the Tennessee Distillery Guild in 2014 after the 2009 law began distilling across the state, and Teak helped establish an alliance of alcohol industry lawyers and consultants.

With the launch of a national practice area, Adams and Reese are ready to help hospitality clients understand state-specific requirements and rules regarding alcohol permits and conditions.

“For example, in South Carolina, manufacturers or suppliers may be interested in retail stores, but in Tennessee or Louisiana, it’s generally banned,” Pinson said. “Also, distance limits from places such as churches and schools can vary from state to state, as well as from city to city. It’s important to be aware of these differences when taking ownership in different locations. is.”

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