2014 Tennessee Code
Title 57 - Intoxicating Liquors
Chapter 3 - Local Option--Traffic in Intoxicating Liquors
Part 2 - Licenses and Fees
§ 57-3-204 - Retailer's licenses -- Fees -- Permits for employees -- Permit renewal -- Disposition of alcoholic beverages after nonlicensed persons secure title -- Sign required -- Penalty for failure to comply.

TN Code § 57-3-204 (2014) What's This?

(a) For the retail sale of alcoholic spirituous beverages, including beer and malt beverages, as in this chapter defined, a license may be issued as herein provided. Any person, firm, or corporation desiring to sell alcoholic spirituous beverages, including beer and malt beverages, to patrons or customers, in sealed packages only, and not for consumption on the premises except for conducting tastings pursuant to § 57-3-404(h)(2), shall make application to the commission for a retailer's license, which application shall be in writing and verified, on forms herein authorized to be prescribed and furnished; and the commission may, subject to the restrictions of this chapter, issue such retailer's license. If the premises with respect to which the license is sought is owned by a person, firm or corporation not the applicant, the application shall include the name and address of the owner. If the ownership of the premises should change after a license is granted, the licensee shall, within ten (10) days after becoming aware of such change in ownership, notify the commission in writing of the name and address of the new owner.

(b) (1) Each applicant for a retail license shall pay to the commission a one-time, nonrefundable fee in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300) when the application is submitted for review. A retailer's license under this section shall not be issued until the applicant shall have paid to the commission the annual license fee of eight hundred fifty dollars ($850).

(2) No retail license under this section may be issued to any individual:

(A) Who has not been a bona fide resident of this state during the two-year period immediately preceding the date upon which application is made to the commission or, with respect to renewal of any license issued pursuant to this section, who has not at any time been a resident of this state for at least ten (10) consecutive years;

(B) Who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state, any other state or the United States;

(C) Who has had a license related to the manufacture, sale or distribution of any form of alcoholic beverages revoked for cause;

(D) Who is not twenty-one (21) years of age or older;

(E) Who has an interest, whether direct or indirect, in a manufacturer, distiller, rectifier, liquor wholesaler, winery, distributor, retail food store or farm winery selling alcoholic beverages that is licensed in this state, except that the spouse of an applicant for a retail license may own and hold a farm wine permit if the spouse does not hold a retailer's license issued under this section;

(F) Who, other than as a member of the governing body of a city or county, appoints or supervises any law enforcement officer, who is a law enforcement official or who is an employee of the commission;

(G) Who intends to carry on the business authorized by the license as the agent or on behalf of another;

(H) Who at the time of the time of application for renewal of any license issued under this section would not be eligible for the license upon a first application;

(I) Who is the holder of a valid existing license issued for the sale of wine in a retail food store under § 57-3-803, and amendments thereto;

(J) Who does not own the premises for which a license is sought, or does not, at the time of application, have a written and enforceable lease thereon;

(K) Whose spouse would be ineligible to receive a license under this section for any reason other than citizenship, residence requirements or age, except that this subdivision (b)(2)(K) shall not apply in determining eligibility for a renewal license; and

(L) Whose spouse has been convicted of a felony or other crime that would disqualify a person from licensure under this section and such felony or other crime was committed during the time that the spouse held a license under this section.

(3) The commission may, in its discretion, issue such a retail license to a corporation; provided, that no such license shall be issued to any corporation unless such corporation meets the following requirements:

(A) No retail license shall be issued to any corporation if any officer, director or stockholder owning any capital stock in the corporation, would be ineligible to receive a retailer's license for any reason specified in subdivision (b)(2), if application for such retail license had been made by the officer, director or stockholder in their individual capacity;

(B) All of its capital stock must be owned by individuals who are residents of this state and either have been residents of the state for the two (2) years immediately preceding the date application is made to the commission or, with respect to renewal of any license issued pursuant to this section, who has at any time been a resident of this state for at least ten (10) consecutive years;

(C) No person owning stock in such corporation shall have any interest as partner or otherwise, either direct or indirect, in any business licensed to engage in the distribution of liquor, spirits, wine or high alcohol content beer in Tennessee; and

(D) No stock of any corporation licensed under this section shall be transferred to any person who is not a resident of this state and either has not been a resident of the state for at least two (2) years next preceding or who at any time has not been a resident of this state for at least ten (10) consecutive years.

(4) It is the intent of the general assembly to distinguish between licenses authorized generally under this title and those specifically authorized under this section. Because licenses granted under this section include the retail sale of liquor, spirits and high alcohol content beer which contain a higher alcohol content than those contained in wine or beer, as defined in § 57-5-101(b), it is in the interest of this state to maintain a higher degree of oversight, control and accountability for individuals involved in the ownership, management and control of licensed retail premises. For these reasons, it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of this state to require all licensees to be residents of this state as provided herein and the commission is authorized and instructed to prescribe such inspection, reporting and educational programs as it shall deem necessary or appropriate to ensure that the laws, rules and regulations governing such licensees are observed.

[Effective until July 1, 2016.]

(c) Every retail licensee shall, before employing any person to dispense alcoholic beverages, secure from the commission an employee's permit authorizing such person to serve as an employee in the place of business of the retailer. It is made the duty of the retailer to see that each person dispensing alcoholic beverages in the retailer's place of business has an employee's permit as above required, which permit must be on the person of such employee or upon the premises of the licensee at all times subject to inspection by the commission or its duly authorized agent. This subsection (c) shall cease to be effective July 1, 2016, when employees of a retail licensee are required to be certified clerks pursuant to § 57-3-818.

(d) (1) If a retail licensee ceases to do business through the voluntary or involuntary loss of the licensee's license, or if a person not licensed under this chapter obtains title to alcoholic beverages of a retail licensee as a result of a defaulted loan or execution, the wholesaler who sold the alcoholic beverages to the retailer shall purchase such alcoholic beverages from the retailer at a base price of the wholesalers' laid-in cost of such alcoholic beverage. A wholesaler shall be permitted an offset or charge against such payment for any outstanding obligation owed to the wholesaler by such licensee or for reasonable labor, restocking and transportation charges.

(2) Any licensee objecting to the reasonableness of the offset or charge may petition the commission to review such, and shall designate the wholesaler as a respondent. The commission shall conduct a contested case hearing pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 3, to consider the objection.

(3) The obligation imposed on a wholesaler under this section does not apply to any product which:

(A) Is damaged or cannot be legally sold in this state;

(B) Is not sold to a retailer within one hundred eighty (180) days of demand for repayment;

(C) The wholesaler from whom the product was purchased is not the designated distributor pursuant to § 57-3-301, at the time demand is made;

(D) Product contains a price tag not readily removable; or

(E) Is sold in a commemorative bottle, seasonal decanter or other novelty container.

(e) (1) A manufacturer licensed under § 57-3-202, or under chapter 2 of this title, is authorized to obtain a license under this section for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages or products containing alcohol subject to the further restrictions of this subsection (e).

(2) A manufacturer seeking to obtain a retail license under this subsection (e) shall apply to the commission on such forms as the commission may prescribe.

(3) A retail license issued under this subsection (e) may be located only on the licensed premises of the manufacturers and may be located on such premises whether or not such premises is located in a jurisdiction which has authorized retail sale of alcoholic beverages pursuant to § 57-3-106.

(4) A manufacturer licensed to sell at retail at its retail location under this subsection (e) may sell only such products as are manufactured on the manufacturer's premises; provided, that at such retail location no more than five gallons (5 gal.) or one sixth (1/6) of a barrel of its products may be sold to any one (1) individual per visit to the premises.

(5) A retail license issued under this subsection (e) may be issued to a manufacturer, regardless of the residency or domicile of the manufacturer, notwithstanding the requirements imposed by subsection (b).

(6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a retail licensee, held by a manufacturer or distiller, may serve samples of the product manufactured or distilled at the premises to any person of legal drinking age without cost or may include such samples as part of a tour of the manufacturer's or distiller's premises available to the public with or without cost. Such samples may be made available at either the premises of the retailer or at such other location on the premises of the manufacturer or distiller holding such retail license which other location has been disclosed to the commission and may be any location on the premises permitted by federal law.

(7) If the retail license under this subsection (e) is held by a manufacturer of high alcohol content beer authorized to manufacture such beverages, then:

(A) Notwithstanding any other law, the retailer may sell its products at such retail location which are manufactured on the manufacturer's premises in accordance with subdivisions (e)(7)(B) and (C) in sizes and containers that are made available through the general wholesale/retail distribution system; provided, that subsection (f) related to the delivery of alcoholic beverages by wholesalers shall be applicable;

(B) (i) Such retailer may also offer and sell beer, as beer is defined in § 57-5-101(b), for consumption on or off-premises, at the same physical location at which it offers samples of and sells its high alcohol content beer; provided, that such beer and high alcohol content beer is brewed on the manufacturer's premises located at the retail location; and further provided, that such manufacturer may distribute such beer as defined in § 57-5-101(b) only to wholesalers licensed pursuant to chapter 5 of this title. A wholesaler of such products may permit a manufacturer to deliver its products to the retail premises operated by such manufacturer directly; provided, that the wholesaler permitting such direct shipment must include the amounts delivered in its inventory and depletions for purposes of tax collections;

(ii) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the hours and days on which such beer or high alcohol content beer may be sold at retail by a manufacturer authorized to manufacture such beverages pursuant to § 57-2-103(f) shall be as set by the governing body of the local jurisdiction in which the manufacturer is located, and such governing body shall further have the authority to authorize the sale of high alcohol content beer and beer within the same store notwithstanding § 57-3-404(e)(1);

(C) Such retailer may sell no more than five gallons (5 gal.) or one sixth (1/6) of a barrel of beer or high alcohol content beer or any combination of such beverages to any one (1) individual per visit to the premises.

(f) (1) A manufacturer licensed under chapter 2 of this title, or this chapter 3, may distribute alcoholic beverages or products containing alcohol only to a wholesaler licensed pursuant to § 57-3-203 where such alcoholic beverages or products are intended for sale at retail in this state; provided, however, that, where such alcoholic beverages are not intended for resale, a manufacturer may make complimentary distributions as allowed by § 57-3-404 and on a periodic basis to its employee or employees in the normal course of employment and to others not licensed under this chapter for routine business or marketing purposes. A wholesaler may permit a manufacturer to deliver its products to the retail premises operated by such manufacturer directly; provided, that the wholesaler permitting such direct shipment must include the amounts delivered in its inventory and depletions for purposes of tax collections imposed pursuant to §§ 57-3-302, 57-6-201 and 57-3-501.

(2) No wholesaler may restrict the sale of its products to a retail license held by a manufacturer but must make its products available to any retailer licensed under this section.

(g) (1) Subsection (e) applies only in those jurisdictions where the voters have approved the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption by referendum held pursuant to § 57-3-106 or where the voters have, by local option election, approved the issuance of such special retail license. A special local option election as authorized by this subsection (g), shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in § 57-3-106; provided, that the question submitted to the voters shall be in the following form:

To permit licensed manufacturers to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages at retail in _________________ (here insert jurisdiction).

Not to permit licensed manufacturers to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages at retail in _________________ (here insert jurisdiction).

(2) In any county having within its boundaries a manufacturer, where the voters of municipalities located within such county have approved the sale of alcoholic beverages, pursuant to § 57-3-106, and where the total population of such municipalities exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the population of the county, no such referendum shall be required; provided, that the authorized retail sales by a manufacturer where no referendum is required is not effective until January 1, 1995.

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