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Do Tennessee Businesses That Sell Alcohol for Consumption on Premises Need a Bond?

bottles of alcohol are on a bar

The State of Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission is responsible for licensing and has regulatory authority pertaining to alcoholic beverages. The commission has oversight of alcohol manufacturers, distillers, warehousemen, dealers, sales, mixing, taxes and the transportation of beer and other beverages.

The Tennessee Code Annotated Section 57-1-102 thru 57-5-407 defines alcoholic beverages and beer tax requirements. Businesses that sell alcoholic beverages, beer and wine to drink (liquor by the drink) are required to pay taxes on the alcohol sold. This includes business such as hotels and motels, restaurants, community theaters, museums, theaters, etc.

The following is needed to obtain a permit/license to sell alcohol for consumption:

1. Approval from the local municipality or county to sell alcohol.
2. Approval from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
3. Complete the permit /license application.
4. Obtain a surety bond. In lieu of a bond, provide cash or another form of security in the same amount.
a. An initial $10,000 bond (or other security) is required for all businesses (other than restaurants) that sell wine only.
b. An initial $2,000 bond (or other security) is required for restaurants that sell wine only.
c. After the first three months the commission may determine if more security is required based on sales.
d. Taxes and fees due to the state vary, additional detail can be found in the Tennessee Code Annotated Section 57-4-301.
5. Businesses are required to provide the commission at time of application, with price schedules including the sales tax and alcohol beverage tax, number of drinks sold and when, etc. Reports are to be submitted annually thereafter and/or if any significant change.
6. File returns and payments. Taxes are due monthly on the first day of the following month.

How Much Will This Bond Cost?

The premium that you pay for a Tennessee Alcoholic Beverages for Consumption on the Premises Bond is dependent on credit and the bond amount required.

Did You Know?

Effective January 1, 2017 all brands of beer in Tennessee with an alcohol content of 8% by weight or more is considered a high alcoholic content beer.

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