ABCA issues alcoholic beverage licenses to wholesalers in the District. A wholesaler's license permits the sale of alcoholic beverages to the following:
- Another alcoholic beverage licensee in the District for resale
- Any alcoholic beverage licensed dealer in the United States for resale
- A consumer if the product is beer or wine
ABCA issues two types of licenses to wholesalers:
- Wholesaler's license class A: Permits the sale of spirits, wine and beer
- Wholesaler's license class B: Permits the sale of wine and beer
Prior to being sold or delivered alcoholic beverages must be:
- delivered and unloaded at the wholesaler’s licensed premises
- kept inside the premises for a minimum of four hours and 3 recoded in the Wholesaler’s inventory
Wholesaler class A licenses are due to be renewed by March 31, 2024. Complete details are available online. Wholesaler class B licenses are due to renew by September 30, 2023. A complete schedule of renewal deadlines are available on ABCA's website.
A wholesaler may be represented by a solicitor. A solicitor is required to obtain a solicitor's license from ABCA. The license authorizes a solicitor to sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of the wholesaler whose name appears on the license and whom the solicitor represents. A solicitor's license allows the licensee to transport samples to and from licensed establishments. Solicitors are due to renew licenses by June 30, 2023.
Primary American Source Requirement
A wholesaler licensed to distribute alcoholic beverages in the District of Columbia may only purchase and sell products obtained from the primary American source of supply, which is defined as the:
- Manufacturer or importer of the brand of alcoholic beverages at the time that the beverage became a marketable product in the United States or its duly authorized agent.
A wholesaler can obtain a tasting permit in order to provide samples of products to the following:
- Temporary and festival license holders; and
- Wholesaler staff.
Wholesalers are not permitted to provide samples of products to the public. Wholesalers can only conduct tastings at a designated common area of a warehouse where the wholesaler is a tenant. Samples may be provided during the wholesaler’s approved hours of operation. Samples of alcoholic beverages can be provided to an individual in the following quantities in one day:
- 3 ounces of spirits (class A);
- 6 ounces of wines (class A or B); and
- 12 ounces of beer (class A or B).
- ABC License Application Process and ABC License Form
- Solicitor's License Form
- Solicitor's License Renewal Form
- ABC Manager's License Information and ABC Manager's License Application
- ABC Manager's License Renewal Form
- Attorney/Agent Designation Form
- Gifts and Loans Disclosure Form
- Stipulated License
If you are making any changes to an already licensed business, find the proper form here:
- ABC Tasting Permit
- One Day Substantial Change
- Change of Hours
- Change License Class
- Change Corporate Name
- Change Trade Name
- Change of Officers, Directors, Partners
- Change of Ownership (complete ABC License application)
- License Safekeeping