Q: I want to open a wine subscription business based in Georgia.
I will be shipping wine monthly to subscribers. The wine will come from different wineries/cellars. Is that possible?
A: The answer is probably, but this is NOT a do-it-yourself endeavor.
You should seek a (preferably) Georgia licensed attorney with a specialization in alcohol sales & registration issues. If they have a background in interstate subscription shipping or direct-to-consumer business, then even better.
They will be able to ensure that you file the correct paperwork and that you don't run afoul of the different state laws regarding registration, taxes, background checks, etc.
They will also be able to guide you through what you can and cannot do, so take some time to think about what your subscription model looks like and how you want to run your business. Note that how you want to run it may not gel with how you can run it, and a good attorney can help walk you through the decision tree.
For example, do you intend to receive shipments directly from wineries, then package and reship the bottles to your customers? Then you may be a distributor, which may require different licensing than if just act as a retailer. Or are you going to ask the wineries to direct ship to your customers? Then you may need to ensure that they are licensed to do so.
Will you only ship within Georgia, or will you ship to other states? Again, this raises registration issues in other states as well.
Best of luck with your proposed venture.
Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer
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