How to open a wholesale liquor business

Updated March 23, 2017

Going into the wholesale liquor business requires that you understand all the aspects of selling liquor wholesale. Wholesale liquor means that you will sell liquor to alcohol retailers as well as commercial buyers, usually in bulk for a better price than a retain liquor business. Before you can open your business, you will need to meet a few minimum requirements.

Secure a location out of which to operate your business. Most jurisdictions require you to have proof that you are in the process of securing a location. It isn't required that you own or lease the location to apply, but before licenses and permits are issued, the location must be secured through lease or ownership.

Apply for a permit that allows you to sell alcoholic beverages. The federal government requires that all persons wishing to sell beer, wine and liquor obtain a permit allowing you to sell liquor. Without this permit, you will be subject to fines and fees.

Obtain a business permit in the jurisdiction that your wholesale liquor business will be located. Most jurisdictions require that all business operators have a license to do so. Find out the permit-issuing agency in your city and state to find out basic requirements.

Find a wholesale liquor supplier. Before you can sell the alcohol, you must have a way to get it first. Research online (see Resources) and land-based wholesale suppliers to find the best prices and availability. Find a supplier that offers top-shelf alcohols and liqueurs, in addition to delivery and affordable prices. Compare prices among several suppliers who offer what you're looking for, and make your final decision based on perks like discounts and samples.

Advertise your wholesale liquor business. To make money as a wholesale liquor supplier you will need to make sure liquor retailers know about your business. Place advertisements in local newspapers, billboards and even door-to-door visit to local liquor stores. Consider using the Internet and traditional advertisements to get the word out about your business.


Failure to submit fees could result in denial of permits.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license
  • Liquor permit
  • Business location
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About the Author

Natasha Jackson-Arnautu is an experienced writer and researcher who specializes in topics ranging from politics to proms. She has worked for online websites like, Elance, and many more. She is the quintessential political junkie with both a bachelor's and a master's degree in political science.