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Nossaman LLP

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing and Regulation

Nossaman represents a variety of clients in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, storage, transportation, shipping, and sale (including Internet sales) of wine, beer and distilled spirits.

Our expertise in this area extends to not only the complex licensure and regulatory requirements of the State of California, including those relating to so-called "tied-house restrictions", but also to federal regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TTB). We also advise our clients on other states' liquor licensing laws when requested.

Our clients include businesses in all three tiers of the alcohol beverage industry, including wineries and breweries, wholesalers, distributors, retail outlets/chains, and caterers. While many of our clients are in the hospitality industry (e.g., hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs/lounges), others operate in a variety of areas such as retail groceries and sundries, airlines, sports and fitness, golf courses, and entertainment.

We also advise investors, financial institutions, and other lenders on liquor licensing matters that arise in connection with their investments, financings and collateral, including developing "exit" strategies when the underlying business or assets are underperforming or no longer viable.

Because we have practiced in this area for many years, Nossaman has established beneficial working relationships with many state regulators (including Licensing Representatives, Licensing Supervisors, District Administrators, in-house attorneys and other members of the Executive Staff of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)). These relationships, and the goodwill and rapport associated with them, allow Nossaman to provide added value to its clients.

As a result, Nossaman's clients enjoy a proven track record of success with the ABC in this area, including completion and regulatory approval of liquor license applications and transfers; the provision of timely notifications to regulators of changes in licensed premises, management, and/or executive officers; and the successful settlement of compliance or disciplinary actions brought by regulators.

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