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Alcohol Licenses

Obtaining a New Alcoholic Beverage License

Any individual, partnership, corporation or entity which engages in the sale of alcohol with the objective of gain, profit, benefit, or advantage in the unincorporated area of Cobb County must obtain a Cobb County Alcoholic Beverage License for each of its locations in Cobb County prior to engaging in these activities.

A Cobb County Business License pertains to business activity only in unincorporated Cobb County, not within city limits. Mailing addresses are not always indicative of the jurisdiction where licenses should be obtained. Contact the specific city or the Cobb County Business License Division at (770) 528-8410 for assistance in determining the jurisdiction where the license should be obtained.

An application must also be filed with the Georgia Department of Revenue Alcohol Unit to obtain a State Alcoholic Beverage License. A state license cannot be processed until the county alcohol license has been obtained.

For more information, visit: Alcohol and Tobacco - Georgia Department of Revenue.

All businesses with a county Alcoholic Beverage License, pouring and package, are required to pay an annual Federal Special Tax to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

*New applications within 600 feet of a church, school, park ,or library or 300 feet of a private residence must be approved by the License Review Board and Board of Commissioners which will take  12-16 weeks.

To apply for a Cobb County Alcoholic Beverage License, you may download an application and schedule a mandatory appointment.  Only completed applications will be accepted.

Brunch Bill Notice

As of Sunday, November 18, 2018 alcohol establishments who have a valid Sunday sales pouring license (on-premise consumption) may serve alcoholic beverages by the drink beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Alcoholic Beverage License Information

Schedule an Appointment

Cobb County Business License Division
1150 Powder Springs Rd. Suite 400
Marietta, GA 30064
(770) 528-8410

Applications and payments accepted from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

To schedule an Appointment:

Terry Reese
(770) 528-2186
[email protected]

Applications are accepted by appointment only. Applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m.
No Alcoholic Beverage license applications will be accepted after 4:00 p.m. Appointments are required. The application and all attachments must be legibly printed in black or blue ink. Licensee/Substitute Licensee must be at least 25 years of age.

The Application

The application includes:

Notice:

  • Licensee and spouse must be at least 25 years of age
  • Licensee and spouse must be a United States Citizen or a permanent resident of the United States
  • Licensee must be a resident of the State of Georgia

Additional Required Documents:

  • Two 2"x2" photographs of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements.
  • Each application must have consent forms for the licensee and licensee's spouse, and each stockholder and their spouse with 20% or more shares.
  • Copy of permanent residence card or naturalization certificate must be provided by the Licensee(s), stockholders with 20% or more ownership, and their spouses, if applicable
  • Copy of incorporation papers, purchase agreements, leases, contracts, and lease assignments, if applicable
  • Seven-year driving history of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements 
    • Must be a complete seven year driver's history regardless of state(s) of issuance, must bear a date of less than 30 days old 
  • Fingerprints for the licensee only, must bear a date of less than 30 days old

For a location that does not currently have an Alcoholic Beverage License:

  • 6 copies of plats of the proposed site must be completed by a certified surveyor and submitted with the application.
  • The Alcoholic Beverage Application, page 14, and one plat survey must be signed by the Zoning Division indicating the zoning designation of the location.
  • Plans approved by the Zoning and Development and Inspections Divisions as well as drawings and renderings of the interior of the building which show the seating capacity and kitchen facilities of a new or existing building.
  • Any stipulations must be obtained from the Zoning Division and submitted with the completed application

Each application for a location, which has not previously been occupied for any type of business purpose or for which there is to be new construction, must also include a copy of a site plan approved by all departments in the plan review process. This plan may be obtained through the Site Plan Review Section of the Development and Inspections Division.

If the establishment is applying for a Sunday Sales Pouring Permit, a separate affidavit signed by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) indicating the percentage of food and alcohol sales expected in a 12-month period must be submitted. The CPA's signature must be notarized.

For Liquor Package Applications:

  • Drawings or snapshots of the facility and location must be submitted.
  • All Liquor Package establishments must comply with the architectural requirements specified in the Cobb County Code of Ordinances Section 6-129.

The Cobb County Code of Ordinances applicable to Alcoholic Beverage can be found here.

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Flowchart: How to Apply for an Alcoholic Beverage License

Summary of Alcoholic Beverage Regulations

Age and Identification

Legal Age to Consume Alcohol: 21

Legal Age to Serve/Sell Alcohol in any other establishment i.e. grocery store, drug store, convenience store, restaurant, etc. : 18*

* Except in supermarket & drug store where a sales clerk can be sixteen under the supervision of a permitted manager.

Only Acceptable Forms of Identification:

  • Any State Driver's License
  • Military Identification
  • Passport
  • State-Issued Identification Card

Business Hours

On-premises Establishment

Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. until 2 a.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. until 2:55 a.m. Sunday
Sunday (with Sunday Sales Pouring License) 12:30 p.m. until midnight

Retail Stores Liquor (off-premises)

Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 11:45 p.m.
Sunday (with Sunday Sales Package License) 12:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Beer and Wine Retail Stores (off-premises)

Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Saturday 6 a.m. until midnight

ID Confiscation

Licensee may confiscate false IDs if they report the confiscation to the Cobb County Police Department.

Underage Persons

  1. It is unlawful for anyone under 21 to misrepresent their age to purchase alcohol.
  2. It is unlawful for anyone under 18 to misrepresent their age to gain employment in an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages.
  3. It is unlawful to serve or sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.

Admittance of Underage Persons

Underage persons are authorized in restaurants and off-premise establishments except in liquor package establishments.

Cobb County Alcohol Server's Permit

Persons required to obtain a Cobb County Alcohol Server's Permit:

  • All employees of liquor package stores
  • All employees of businesses with a pouring license
  • All employees of convenience stores

 Alcohol server/work permits are issued by the Permit and Regulatory Services Unit of the Cobb County Police Department. Georgia and Cobb County currently do not regulate server training, nor does the state or Cobb County provide a training program.

Cobb County Police Department Contact Information:

Location: 140 North Marietta Parkway at the corner of Cherokee Street and North Marietta Parkway

Phone: (770) 499-3933

Cobb County Police Department

Regulation of Non-Alcohol Beer and Wine

Georgia and Cobb County treat non-alcohol beer and wine the same as any other alcohol beverage.

License Liability

The penalties for serving or selling alcohol to a minor or someone who is already intoxicated vary from case to case depending on the number of previous offenses and the circumstances for the citation. 

Suspension or Revocation Of Alcoholic Beverage Work Permit

When an individual with an alcohol permit is charged with selling, furnishing, or allowing an underage person to possess an alcoholic beverage, in addition to criminal charges, a hearing will be scheduled before the License Review Board where the permit may suspended or revoked.

Summary of Happy Hour Laws for Unincorporated Cobb County

Prices shall not vary from hour to hour within a single day. Drink prices must be effective for not less than a 24-hour period beginning at 12:01 a.m. and ending at midnight.

Additional Regulations

The following are NOT Allowed:

  1. Offer or deliver free alcoholic beverages.
    • Deliver more than two alcoholic beverages to one person at one time.
    • Allow any person to possess more than two alcoholic beverages at one time.
  2. Sell, offer, or deliver to any person or group alcoholic beverages for a price less than regularly charged during the same 24-hour period.
  3. Sell, offer, or deliver to any person or group, two or more, or unlimited amounts of alcoholic beverages during a set period of time at a fixed price.
  4. Sell, offer, or deliver to any person or group, alcoholic beverages, at prices less than those charged the general public.
  5. Sell, offer, or deliver a pitcher or carafe of an alcoholic beverage except to two or more persons at one time.
  6. Increase volume of alcohol contained in a drink without increasing proportionately the price regularly charged during the same 24-hour period.
  7. Alcoholic beverage contest or contest involving or promoting the drinking of alcoholic beverages or the authorizing of alcoholic beverages as a prize.
  8. Sell, offer, or deliver two alcoholic beverages for the price of one.
  9. Require or encourage the purchase of second or subsequent alcoholic beverages at the same time as another beverage is purchased.
  10. Allow alcoholic beverages to be removed from premises. Premises include the entire area under supervision, management or control of licensee. Premises do not include parking lot. Cobb County does not issue permits for businesses to sell alcoholic beverages outside of their premises, i.e. parking lot.
  11. Advertise or promotion of any of the above.

For additional information, please see the Cobb County Code of Ordinance applicable to Alcoholic Beverage.

Taxes and Fees

Occupation Tax & Regulatory Fees

The Occupation Tax for the operation of a business with a Alcoholic Beverage License is contingent on the projected gross revenue from all revenue sources of the business for 12 months. In addition, flat non-prorated regulatory fees for liquor, beer, or wine are as follows:

  • Liquor Pouring: $5,000
  • Wine Pouring: $600
  • Liquor Package: $5,000
  • Wine Package: $600
  • Beer Pouring: $600
  • Sunday Sales Pouring: $1,000
  • Beer Package: $600
  • Sunday Sales Package: $500
  • Catering: $2000
  • Corkage: $100

Sales Tax, Federal Tax, State Tax, County Tax, and Alcohol Tax

Sales Taxes

Businesses are required to collect sales taxes on the retail sale of merchandise, the rental of certain items, and for certain services. Contact the Georgia Department of Revenue to obtain a sales tax number.

Federal Tax

Businesses are required to obtain a federal employers tax identification number to report income and to submit federal payroll taxes. 

State Tax

Information pertaining to preparation of tax returns for state income taxes may be obtained by contacting the Georgia Department of Revenue.

County Tax

All real and personal property taxes owed to Cobb County must be paid prior to the issuance or renewal of a business registration certificate. Questions regarding real property taxes or personal property taxes should be directed to the Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Alcohol Taxes

Additional taxes which are to be paid to the Business License Division include a 3% per drink tax on liquor drinks served at retail pouring establishments, a wholesaler’s tax on beer, wine, liquor to be paid by licensed wholesalers. The 3% drink tax is calculated on “spirituous” liquor sales only and is due by the 20th day of each month for the previous month’s sales.

A 3% commission is allowed for returns filed in a timely manner. If the return is not filed by the 20th of each month, interest accrues at the rate of one percent per month. Penalties are calculated at 10% per month. A 25% penalty will be assessed for fraud or intent to evade.

It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate form from the Business License Division to submit all business related taxes.

All businesses with a county Alcoholic Beverage License, pouring and package, are required to pay an annual Federal Special Tax to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Renewal of Alcoholic Beverage License

Alcohol Licenses are NOT transferable.

A completed Alcoholic Beverage License Renewal Packet must be received in our office prior to December 31st. Postmark is not sufficient. The Occupation Tax is determined by annual gross receipts. A renewal notice will be sent to the current mailing address on file. If the mailing address for the business changes without the Business License Division being notified, the business will not receive a renewal notice. The Alcoholic Beverage License must be renewed prior to its expiration despite a renewal notice not being received.

Payment must be received via certified funds with the completed renewal packet, made payable to the Cobb County Business License Division.

Incomplete renewal packets will not be processed.

Effective January 1, penalties will be assessed on all delinquent renewals at the rate of 10 percent per month of the Alcoholic Beverage License/Regulatory fee. 

Effective February 1, interest is assessed at 1.5 percent per month of the occupation tax.

Supporting documentation for annual gross receipts must be submitted with the renewal application. Acceptable reports include, but are not limited to:

  1. In-house sales reports
  2. Profit and loss statements
  3. Affidavit from an accountant (required of pouring/on-premise consumption)

For Sunday Sales Pouring Permits, an affidavit indicating actual food and alcohol sales for the past 12 months must be submitted.

Renewals may be submitted in-person and via FedEx/UPS at:

Cobb County Business License Office 
1150 Powder Springs Street, Suite 400,
Marietta, GA 30064 

or

Mailed to: must be received by December 31. Postmark date is not sufficient.

Cobb County Business License Office
P.O. Box 649
Marietta, GA 30061
For delivery receipt, renewal must be send via USPS certified mail

Notice:

Cash register receipts, customer tickets, daily, weekly or monthly sales summaries and any other documentation pertinent to actual sales must be kept for a minimum of three years for audit purposes.

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Flowchart: How to Renew an Alcoholic Beverage License

Business Changes

Change of Ownership

Alcoholic Beverage Licenses are not transferable.

If a business changes ownership, the purchaser must submit:

  1. Change of Ownership Application,
  2. One secure and verifiable document (a driver's license or passport)

Notice:

  • Licensee and spouse must be at least 25 years of age
  • Licensee and spouse must be a United States Citizen or a permanent resident of the United States
  • Licensee must be a resident of the State of Georgia

Additional Required Documents:

  • Two 2"x2" photographs of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements.
  • Each application must have consent forms for the licensee and licensee's spouse, and each stockholder and their spouse with 20% or more shares.
  • Copy of permanent residence card or naturalization certificate must be provided by the Licensee(s), stockholders with 20% or more ownership, and their spouses, if applicable
  • Copy of incorporation papers, purchase agreements, leases, contracts, and lease assignments, if applicable
  • Seven-year driving history of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements 
    • Must be a complete seven year driver's history regardless of state(s) of issuance, must bear a date of less than 30 days old 
  • Fingerprints for the licensee only, must bear a date of less than 30 days old
  • Incorporation papers, purchase agreements, leases, contracts, and lease assignments are also required when applicable. If the establishment is applying for a Liquor Pouring License, it must meet the specific requirements established in the Cobb County Code of Ordinances.

A completed application must be submitted to the Business License Division prior to assuming ownership of the business. The purchaser must submit an executed bill of sale. A change of ownership is defined as the addition of a partner or stockholder.

If a partner or stockholder withdraws, and they are not the current licensee listed on the license and no other changes are made, a new application need not be submitted.

If the partner, owner, or stockholder who withdraws is the “named licensee,” a new licensee is required and a Change of Licensee Application must be submitted.

On a change of ownership, new fees must be paid and are not pro-rated. The application fee for a change of ownership is $300 in addition to a new Alcoholic Beverage Business License fee and Occupation Tax.

Regulatory Fees and Occupation Taxes are not pro-rated.

To apply for a Cobb County Alcoholic Beverage License, you may download an application and schedule a mandatory appointment by calling (770) 528-2186.  Only completed applications will be accepted.

Change of Licensee

Alcoholic Beverage Licenses are not transferable.

If there is a change of licensee, the business shall submit: 

  1. Change of Licensee Application
  2. One secure and verifiable document (a driver's license or passport)

Notice:

  • Licensee and spouse must be at least 25 years of age
  • Licensee and spouse must be a United States Citizen or a permanent resident of the United States
  • Licensee must be a resident of the State of Georgia

Additional Required Documents:

  • Two 2"x2" photographs of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements.
  • Each application must have consent forms for the licensee and licensee's spouse, and each stockholder and their spouse with 20% or more shares.
  • Copy of permanent residence card or naturalization certificate must be provided by the Licensee(s), stockholders with 20% or more ownership, and their spouses, if applicable
  • Copy of incorporation papers, purchase agreements, leases, contracts, and lease assignments, if applicable
  • Seven-year driving history of each licensee and stockholder with 20% or more shares submitting personal statements 
    • Must be a complete seven year driver's history regardless of state(s) of issuance, must bear a date of less than 30 days old 
  • Fingerprints for the licensee only, must bear a date of less than 30 days old
  • Incorporation papers, purchase agreements, leases, contracts, and lease assignments are also required when applicable. If the establishment is applying for a Liquor Pouring License, it must meet the specific requirements established in the Cobb County Code of Ordinances.

A Change of Licensee Application must be filed whenever the named licensee is no longer in a managing capacity over the licensed location. Managing capacity is defined in Section 6- 92 (f) of the Cobb County Code of Ordinances.

A $300 application fee will be charged for a change of licensee.

To apply for a Cobb County Alcoholic Beverage License, you may download an application and schedule a mandatory appointment by calling (770) 528-2186.  Only completed applications will be accepted.

Change of Location

Licenses are void if sole proprietor/entity selling or serving alcohol changes business location.

When a business location changes, a new application with surveys, lease etc. must be submitted prior to the move and approved by the Business License Division Manager. See the Obtaining a New Alcoholic Beverage License  section above, download a new application, or call the Regulated Business Licence Office at (770) 528-2186 for more information.

Closing of Business

If business in Cobb County is terminated, the Business License Division must be notified in writing. The alcohol license must be surrendered to the Business License Division.