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NC Distillers - Do you also have a broker permit, or What do you like about your broker?

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Afternoon folks. For those of you in NC, did you represent yourself when presenting your products to the ABC in February? If you did, did you have to obtain separate permitting with the federal government to have a basic permit that covers your representation of suppliers in NC before applying for the broker permit?

We'd like to represent ourselves, but are having trouble understanding what's required to serve as our own representative.

I've spoken with some very smart brokers, but cash flow is obviously a consideration for a startup. If you went with a broker, what worked/what didn't?

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Call the NCABC its not that hard just have to fill out forms. they will send you what you need. I can tell form you post that you have not been talking to the NCABC, and you will need a wholesale permit from the TTB but they are aware of what the NCABC wants and they what the state needs. I am more then willing to help. PM me or post here but you should really be working with the NCABC or you will not get very far. The NCABC has more paper work and fees the the TTB

Yes if you look at the Broker list on the NCABC web site all NC Distillerys are self brokered.

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People who are selling in North Carolina know more about the details of this issue than I do, but:

(1) The state ABC determines if your product will be "listed," that is made available for sale, in North Carolina; however

(2) You do not sell to the State ABC, which buys nothing; all sales at retail rae made by local ABC's, to which you sell the product.

(3) Even though it buys nothing, the State ABC operates a bailment warehouse to which you must ship all products that will be sold in NC (aside from those you will be able to sell at our distillery under the new law);

(4) You own the product in the bailment warehouse;

(5) The fact that the state lists the product and accepts it into its warehouse does not mean that you will have a customer for the products you ship there;

(6) Each local ABC independently decide what products it will buy and you must convince each of them, independently, to order your product for sale;

(7) The state has a broker system;

(8 )Broker's represent you with the State ABC to get the initial listing and with the local ABC's to secure sales;

(9) The state requires that you obtain a federal basic permit as a wholesaler liquor dealer at the location of its bailment warehouse;

(10) The state says that TTB requires this, and although I think that TTB would not require it given the fact that the state warehouse is a place of storage only, since TTB makes no charge, it is easy to go along with the rules than argue over niceties.

Here is a link to a state explanation of its system. http://resources.abc.nc.gov/Public%20Web%20Documents/Divisions/Pricing%5CNew%20Suppliers%5CBasic%20Guidelines.pdf

To learn more about the details of your relationship to your broker, talk with distillers who are selling to the state.

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We broker our own stuff, but other NC folks use the larger brokers. The main thing the big guys can get you is access to their distributors out of state, but they will not go out of their way to market an unknown product for you. For my own stuff, I don't see why I should be giving away 10-15% of our wholesale cost just to get in with Southern / RNDC / etc. Ultimately if you're selling well in NC you can find distributors outside the state anyway.

You will need the wholesale permit from the TTB listing the ABC warehouse as a location anyway, regardless of whether you broker your own stuff or not.

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