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Wholesale Laws for Ohio

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Last Updated: June 5, 2019

Summary

In Ohio, the Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control is responsible for controlling the manufacture, distribution, licensing, regulation, and merchandising of beer, wine, mixed beverages, and spirituous liquor as the law is outlined in the Ohio Revised Code Chapters 4301. and 4303.

Laws & Rules:

Supplier Licensing

Required:  Yes

Name:  S-5 Out of State Supplier of Wine

Fee:  $300 – produce 250,000 gallons or more, $76 – produce less than 250,000 gallons, plus $100 initial application fee

Expiration:  June 30th of each year

The fee for a S-5 Wine Importer permit is $76 for wineries producing less than 250,000 gallons per year, and $300 for wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons per year. There is an additional $100 non-refundable application fee. Applicants must submit a copy of their federal basic permit and Label Registration Form DLC1511 with their application.

Resources:

Product Registration

Required:  Yes

Fee:  $50

Approval:  4-6 weeks

Expiration:  Does Not Expire

Revision Required:  COLA change

Complete and Submit “Application for Product Label Registration” (form DLC1511). Per the Department, glue one complete set of labels to application and attach a copy of the COLA. Allow 30-45 days for processing.

Complete and attach “Territory Designation” (form DLC 1539). A separate form must be completed for each wholesale distributor designated to distribute your products.

Resources:

Franchise "Monopoly Protection" Law

Franchise Law:  Yes

Exclusive Territories:  Required

Please review the law in its entirety and consult legal counsel prior to taking any action.

A brand may only be sold by one wholesaler in a particular territory.

Protections arise after 90-day sales relationship. Brand successors bound – if a distributorship experiences a change in ownership the distributor’s exclusive rights to sell brands transfer to the new owner of the distributorship.

With limited exception, 60 days notice and “just cause” is required for termination. Generally, just cause must relate to wholesaler deficiencies. Examples of what “just cause” does not include are restructuring of the manufacturer’s business, sale or transfer of a brand by the manufacturer. Generally, just cause must relate to wholesaler deficiencies.

The wholesaler may bring civil action for damages and injunctive relief.

Citations:

Supplier Reporting Requirements

Required:  Yes

Name:  Invoice Report

Due Date:  Monthly, by the 15th

Send two copies of invoices to the Department of Taxation, or file the invoice information electronically in a format prescribed by the Department to excisealcohol@tax.state.oh.us.

Resources:

Sales Representative Licensing

Available:  Yes

Fee:  $50

Expiration:  2 years from issue date

A “Solicitor” is defined as an individual who solicits sales of alcoholic beverages on behalf of a manufacturer, supplier, wholesale distributor, or broker, and generally does not take possession of the beverages.

Solicitor Registration is required for any individual acting as an agent, solicitor, trade marketing professional or salesperson for any manufacturer, supplier, wholesale distributor, trade marketing company or broker of beer, wine, mixed beverages, or spirituous liquor which products are to be sold or produced in the state of Ohio. A Solicitor Registration must be renewed every two years.

This registration is also required for all individuals soliciting the Ohio Division of Liquor Control and Ohio permit holders.

Resources:

Self-Distribution

Allowed:  Yes

License:  Required

License Fee:  $25, plus $100 one-time application fee, $76 renewals

License Expiration:  Oct. 31st of each year

Label Registration:  Required

Excise Tax:  Required

Reporting:  Required

Wineries producing up to 250,000 gallons annually are eligible to apply for a B-2a permit. The B-2a permit allows a winery to sell directly to a retailer in Ohio. The application fee is $25.00.

A “B-2A” permit holder is also required to register as an Out-of-State Supplier and pay a $100.00 initial application fee. The yearly renewal fee the Out-of-State Supplier’s license and B-2A permit is $76.00. In addition to registering as an Out-of-State Supplier, a B-2a permit holder must register each product sold in Ohio and pay a $50.00 product registration fee for each product.

Resources:

Trade Practice Advisories

Ohio Division of Liquor Control
6606 Tussing Rd.
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9005
Phone: (614) 644-2411
Fax: (614) 644-2513

Ohio Department of Taxation
Alcoholic Beverages
Excise & Energy Tax Division

P.O. Box 530
Columbus, OH 43216-0530
General Information: (855) 466-3921
Fax: (206) 350-6722

See all Compliance Alerts

 

This information is intended for winegrower licensees only. All information above is provided as an informational aid and is not legal advice. Data may be out-of-date or incomplete. Please consult a lawyer before taking any action.