In North Dakota, the Office of State Tax Commissioner administers laws regarding the licensing, regulation, and tax for alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers. Licensing requirements and permitted operations vary depending on the type of business.
Alcoholic beverage manufacturers (breweries, distilleries, or wineries in North Dakota), alcoholic beverage wholesalers, domestic distilleries, domestic wineries, manufacturing distilleries, microbrew pubs, and out-of-state direct shippers, need a license from the Office of State Tax Commissioner. These licenses are renewable by January 1.
Suppliers selling or shipping alcoholic beverages to liquor and beer wholesalers in North Dakota also need a license from the Office of State Tax Commissioner before doing business in North Dakota. The supplier license is issued with no expiration date.
To complete an alcohol license application or to submit alcohol tax returns, taxpayers must use North Dakota Taxpayer Access Point (ND TAP). A business needs access to ND TAP before their first tax return is due. Visit ND TAP to sign up for access.
Another helpful tool is the Liquor & Beer Package Conversion to Gallons Chart.
In North Dakota, there are no brand registration requirements.
Alcohol License Lookup
The Alcohol License Lookup lists businesses that have a North Dakota alcoholic beverage license. Users can search by license number or type of license.
The Office of State Tax Commissioner regulates the following types of alcohol manufacturers in North Dakota.
- Brewer Taproom – This is a beer manufacturer who can sell their product onsite with a tasting room and self-distribute their product directly to retailers and through wholesalers. They can only sell their product.
- Domestic Winery – This is a North Dakota winery who can manufacture wine with no ingredient restriction. They may offer tasting and sales at their winery location.
- Domestic Distillery – This is a North Dakota distillery who can manufacture their product by using 50% or more of North Dakota farm products (not including water). They must have their manufacturing and tasting room at the same location.
- Manufacturing Distillery – This is a North Dakota distillery that has one location for manufacturing their product and a satellite location for tasting and sales.
- Microbrew Pub – This is a North Dakota beer retailer who is permitted to manufacture their own product. They need to go through a wholesaler to distribute their product.
- North Dakota Manufacturing – Winery, Brewery, Distillery – This is a manufacturer who only manufactures product. They do not have a tasting room or on-site sales. All their product is distributed through a wholesaler.
Businesses who sell or ship alcoholic beverages to North Dakota wholesalers need an alcohol supplier license. A business is eligible for an alcohol supplier license if they are a licensed alcohol manufacturer, importer, marketer, or wholesaler in their state.
Apply for an alcohol supplier license in ND TAP.
Licensed alcohol suppliers are required to file reports monthly with the Office of State Tax Commissioner. Schedule A is the report for liquor suppliers and Schedule C is the report for beer suppliers. Both reports must be filed by the last day of the month following the month of shipment or sale to wholesalers. If no shipments or sales were made during the month, no report is needed.
Schedules and Instructions
Businesses who ship, transport, or deliver alcoholic beverages directly to consumers in North Dakota are required to be licensed depending on their activity. A business is eligible for a direct shipping license if they are a licensed alcohol retailer or manufacturer in their state. The application for a direct shipping license is available at ND TAP. Direct shippers are required to have a North Dakota sales and use tax permit.
Licensed direct shippers are required to file reports annually with the Office of State Tax Commissioner. Schedule G is the report for beer direct shippers and Schedule H is the report for liquor direct shippers. Both reports must be filed by January 15 of the year following the direct shipment. If no shipments were made during the year, no report is needed.
Alcohol logistic shippers provide fulfillment house services to licensed direct shippers. They provide warehousing, packaging, distribution, and order and shipment services and are required to file a monthly Schedule L report. The logistic shipper does not pay the excise or sales taxes on those products shipped – that is the responsibility of the licensed direct shipper.
Alcohol carriers are businesses who ship alcohol products. These businesses need an alcoholic beverage carrier license and use Schedule M to report to the Office of State Tax Commissioner This is an annual license that allows the carrier to ship alcoholic beverages to a residence in North Dakota on the behalf of licensed alcoholic beverage direct or logistics shippers. The application for an alcohol carrier license is available at ND TAP.
Apply for a direct shipping license or an alcohol carrier license in ND TAP.
Schedules and Instructions
In North Dakota, an excise tax is imposed on liquor and beer at the wholesale level. North Dakota manufacturers, including taprooms, microbrew pubs, distilleries, wineries, and out-of-state direct shippers, must also submit the wholesale excise tax on product that is not sold through a North Dakota wholesaler.
If product is near the destroy date, a beer wholesaler cannot offer beer at a discounted price to only select retailers. A wholesaler may submit a Report of Destruction of Alcoholic Beverages form and claim a credit for out-of-date product on the return filed for the month that the destruction took place.
Wholesalers and Events
A wholesaler can host a product tasting at a licensed retail location if the wholesaler uses their own employees to conduct the tasting. Products that are used for tasting must first be sold to a retailer at wholesale, then purchased at retail by the wholesaler from the retailer. Any product not used during the tasting must be returned to the wholesaler’s location.
The wholesaler cannot advertise the tasting event at the retailer’s location. However, the retailer can advertise at their own expense that the wholesaler will be hosting a product tasting at the retailer’s location.
With any product tasting event, the wholesaler must ensure their employees are 21 years of age or older, and that the event is in compliance with local ordinances. The wholesaler is also responsible for consulting with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding any federal restrictions or requirements involving product tasting.
A wholesaler cannot provide anything of value to a promoter that holds a retail alcohol license, including an event sponsorship. If you are unsure of a promoter’s status, contact 701-328-2702.
Schedules and Instructions
A winery located outside of North Dakota may apply for a North Dakota out-of-state winery license to sell directly to North Dakota retailers.
Apply for the annual license in ND TAP.
Schedules and Instructions
A special event allows a brewer taproom, domestic distillery, domestic winery, manufacturing distillery, and microbrew pub to give free samples and sell beverages by the glass or in closed containers. The event must be a designated trade show, convention, festival, fundraiser, or other related special event hosted by a non-profit organization unaffiliated with the business, or a similar event approved by the Office of State Tax Commissioner.
A special event at a retail location other than the business’ premises must be associated with a unique or temporary occasion, held in conjunction with an established event, and of limited duration. Private parties and gatherings do not constitute a special event.
A business must have a special event permit to sell their product outside of their premises. Applications are available in ND TAP by logging in and clicking “Special Events and Annual License Renewal.”