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How to obtain Wholesaler, Manufacturer, and Retailer Tobacco License in the State of Georgia

Tobacco industry in the US is the most regulated and administered industry. It is mandatory to obtain relevant permits and licenses when manufacturing, importing, selling tobacco products. Here are some guidelines on how to obtain tobacco wholesaler and retail licenses in the State of Georgia.

Definition of tobacco products?

A tobacco product is any product that contains tobacco and which is intended to be smoked, chewed, or sniffed. Tobacco product means any cigars, little cigars, granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff or snuff powder; and other chewing tobaccos.

Who are tobacco manufacturers, importers and dealers?

Distributor means any person, whether located within or outside the borders of the state, other than a dealer, who sells or distributes tobacco products within or into the boundaries of the state.

Importer means any person who imports into or who brokers within the United States, either directly or indirectly, a finished tobacco product for sale or distribution.

Manufacturer means any person who manufactures, fabricates, assembles, processes, or labels a finished tobacco product.

Who are wholesaler and retailer?

Wholesale is a person who is brought in or cause to be brought in the State of Georgia tobacco products purchased directly from the manufacturer, producer or importer of cigarettes for sale in this state and any other person who brings tobacco products in Georgia for the purpose of resale.

The retailer is any person who is authorized by the relevant authorities to sell tobacco products directly to consumers from a licensed retail store.

What are the prerequisites for applying for a tobacco license?

If you are willing to start your business as a tobacco wholesaler, distributor or retailer in the State of Georgia, you need to apply to the Department of Revenue State of Georgia for the relevant licenses and permits to start your registered and legal business in the State.

The person registering as manufacturer, wholesaler, importer or retailer is required to submit form ATT-17 Georgia alcohol and Tobacco personal statement mentioning the complete name, legal address, details regarding any beneficial interest or any offense committed by the applicant.

This form is required to be submitted online using the link mentioned on the form. Following additional documents are required to be submitted with this form:

  • Your business registration with the State.
  • Any local license or permit.
  • Details of the tobacco products to be sold.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco bond form (in case of wholesalers).
  • Financial affidavit.
  • Citizenship affidavit confirming that you are a citizen and permanent legal resident of the United States.
  • Power of attorney on form RD-1061.
The above mentioned form along with the supporting documents is submitted online using the GTC Georgia tax center.

What is the license fee?

A tobacco license fee is charged as per the following:

Wholesalers/ Distributor/ Manufacturer $250
Retailer $10

Can these licenses be renewed?

Yes, these licenses are issued for one year and can be renewed online by accessing the GTC Georgia tax center in the renewal section along with the renewal fee.

Do I need some additional license or permit for retailer license?

Yes, for tobacco retail license application, you need to have a Sales tax permit and Sales and Use tax number.

Further, if you are selling tobacco products through a vending machine, you need to apply for each location for the vending machine operations.

What are tobacco permits?

Tobacco permits are issued to the representative of wholesalers, manufacturer and distributor for sales and promotion of tobacco products in the State of Georgia. These are non-transferable permits, which allow an individual to represent tobacco products in the State of Georgia.

You can apply for this permit online using Georgia tax center. The fee for the permit is $ 10 and it is renewable. A fee is charged from the manufacturer and importer only.

What are the tax rates for different tobacco products?

  • Cigarettes: $ 0.37 per pack of 20 cigarettes.
  • All other cigars: 23% of the wholesale cost price.
  • Other products: 10% of the wholesale price.

Do tobacco retailers need to file any tax return?

Yes, if you are being a tobacco retailer, receive any tobacco products on which tax has not been paid by the wholesalers/ distributors, you are required to file a monthly return on form ATT-67 within 24 hours of receiving such products.

What are the requirements of filing Tobacco tax returns?

Every wholesaler, manufacturer, importer is required to file a monthly tax return with the department of revenue, state of Georgia for each cigarette and other tobacco products. You can file this return by applying online on Georgia tax center GTC and registering there. This return is required to be submitted on 10th of every month following the close of the reporting month.

Please note that tax return is only filed electronically and the department does not approve returns which are files manually.

Failure to file monthly return and pay taxes on time will be subject to penalty amounting to $25 plus 5% of the amount of tax and a further 5% for each month for which tax has not been paid.

What is Georgia tax center?

It is an online portal of the department of revenue website for electronic filing of different types of business licenses and permits, payment of fees and submission of monthly tax returns. It is an easy, accurate and fast method of submitting your reports online. All you have to do is to simply log on the website and make a user account that can be used every time you access the site.

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