Wine Distribution & Importing License

What is the first requirement to get a license for importing , distributing wine in FLorida? Thanks

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

I am assuming from your question that you do not have any prior experience as a wine importer. If you feel confident of your own research abilities, you can do a great deal on your own to start the process. Any company intending on importing alcoholic beverages will need a Federal Basic Permit (see Further licensing is mandatory in Florida to act as an importer and distributor. You could telephone the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages (850 487 1395) for help locating the forms on their site ( Some who have successfully obtained licensing by themselves believe they do not need an attorney. In my experience in the wine business, however, I have found it indispensable to have legal advice to navigate the mine field of regulations and to deal with regulatory agencies. To find out more, I recommend you read "How to Import Wine: An Insider's Guide" by Deborah M. Gray. I wish you luch with your project.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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