Beer/Wine Wholesale/Distributor Licensees FAQs
Q. Can a beer wholesaler/wine distributor deliver product to a retail licensee at a catered event?
A. Yes. For the purposes of a catered event, the location of the event is considered an extension of the licensee’s premises for that event only. (16-3-219, MCA)
Q. Are copies of beer wholesale/wine distributor agreements with a brewer or beer-importer and winery or wine-importer required to be filed with the Liquor Control Division?
A. Yes. In the event an agreement is ever disputed, a court will not consider the agreement to have any force or effect if it is not on file with the Department. (16-3-226, MCA)
Q. What are the requirements for beer wholesale/wine distributor agreements?
A. The agreements must state the territory agreed upon, the brands to be distributed, wholesalers/distributors right to manage their business in the manner they consider best, procedure for review of wholesaler’s alleged deficiencies, termination clause and any dispute arising shall be held in a Montana Court, unless doing so would create an unnecessary burden on either party, as well as recognizing the constitutional right to a jury trial.
Q. Can a beer wholesaler/wine distributor deliver product to a retail licensee and bill them on a monthly basis?
A. No. A retail licensee must pay for product within seven days of delivery. An extension or acceptance of credit longer than the seven days will be considered as giving or receiving financial assistance, which will be considered a violation of undisclosed financial interest bearing a penalty of $1500.00.
Q. If a license is transferred or foreclosed on is the subsequent licensee responsible for the debt of the licensee under the seven-day credit limit?
A. Yes, the debt becomes the obligation of the new owner and the beer wholesaler/wine distributor can not deliver product to the new owner until the debt is paid. (ARM 42.13.109)
Q. Can a beer wholesaler/wine distributor provide samples to retailers?
A. Yes. If the beer wholesaler/wine distributor has not purchased the sample product in the previous 12 months a beer wholesaler/wine distributor may provide up to 3 gallons of beer and 3 liters of wine.
Q. Who pays the tax on products distributed in the State of Montana?
A. Any beer wholesaler/wine distributor, brewery or winery who delivers products to retailers is required to pay the tax on such products.
Q. Are beer wholesalers/wine distributors required to report the products they deliver in the State of Montana to the Liquor Control Division?
A. Yes. Every beer wholesaler/wine distributor licensed to do business in the state shall, on or before the 15th day of the month, make an exact return to the department of the amount of beer manufactured in this state sold and delivered by him and the amount of beer manufactured outside the state sold and delivered by him during the previous month.
Q. If a product that was delivered to retailers by a beer wholesaler/wine distributor is recalled by the manufacturer, can the beer wholesaler/wine distributor request a refund of the tax paid?
A. Yes. The beer wholesaler/wine distributor can amend the prior BET return and request a credit be applied to their account or a refund be remitted.
Q. Is a brewery or winery required to ship their products to wholesalers/distributors for
delivery to retailers within the State of Montana?
A. No. Any brewery or winery licensed to do business in the State of Montana can ship the products they manufacture to retailers; however, the brewery/winery would then be required to pay the tax on all product shipped to retailers as well as reporting the amount and kind delivered to each retailer.
Q. Can a beer wholesaler/wine distributor exchange or accept return of product?
A. Yes, if the reason constitutes an ordinary and usual commercial reason such as: defective product, error in delivery, product unlawful to sell, termination of retail business or wholesale franchise, change in product, discontinued product or seasonal business; not for overstocked product, slow moving product or seasonal products. (ARM 42.13.305)
Q. What kinds of advertising can be supplied by a beer wholesaler or brewer to a retail licensee?
A. A beer wholesaler is prohibited from supplying a retailer with advertising in the form of radio or posters or paying for promotional fees with the exception of a few items and dollar limitations. (16-3-241, MCA.)
Q. What can a wine distributor provide a retail licensee in the form of product displays, carton wine displays, etc.?
A. There are no specific restrictions in this area; however, a winery or table wine distributor shall be deemed to have a financial interest in a retailer if…they furnish to any retail licensee furniture, fixtures or equipment to be used in the dispensation or sale of table wine. (16-3-406, MCA)
Q. Is it permissible for a beer wholesaler to sell or return tapping equipment or portable coolers?
A. A beer wholesaler may sell draft systems and portable cooling devices to licensees at not less than the cost to the beer wholesaler. A beer wholesaler may provide portable cooling equipment for special events at a location other than a licensed premises. (16-3-241 MCA & ARM 42.12.323)
Q. Can a beer wholesaler sell to a retail licensee with the privilege of return?
A. No. However, there is an exception if the retail licensee is going out of business, a one time Special event is rained out or for some other reason the retail licensee is unable to sell the product as a result of an unforeseen circumstance, then, yes, the buy back of this product would be permissible.
Q. Is cold storage at a special event allowed?
A. Yes, a beer wholesaler/wine distributor may maintain a refrigerated truck at a rodeo or other special event; however, no sales may happen directly from the truck.
Q. Can a beer wholesaler/wine distributor assist a special permittee or retail licensee with a catering endorsement in selling beer and/or table wine at a special event?
A. No. However, a beer wholesaler/wine distributor may assist in setting up equipment for sale and service of beer and/or table wine.
Q. Is it necessary for a retail licensee to provide verification of a license for a sale by a
Beer wholesaler/wine distributor?
A. Yes. The beer wholesaler/wine distributor can sell and/or deliver only to a licensed retailer. It is the wholesalers’/distributors’ responsibility to obtain verification such as a copy of the license, approval of licensure from the Department of Revenue or issuance of temporary operating authority from the Department of Revenue or by contacting the Department of Revenue.
Last updated 5/20/2011 9:49:35 AM