How to Open a Liquor Store in Georgia

Alcoholic beverage sales can be a lucrative business, and store owners have found successful business models both in affluent and poorer neighborhoods. Spirits sales have also historically proven to be a relatively recession-proof business: Liquor sales often remain strong even when other sectors of the economy are struggling. Nevertheless, the state of Georgia closely regulates the sale of alcoholic beverages and taxes them heavily to raise revenue for the state.

Find a suitable location for your liquor store. You should ensure that zoning laws in your planned location allow for a retail business, and specifically for a liquor store. Certain areas may restrict a liquor store from operating adjacent to a school, for example. You can learn your community's zoning laws and restrictions by contacting the local zoning board with your city or county government.

Obtain an alcohol license from the Georgia Department of Revenue. You can obtain the necessary forms from your local city hall or by visiting the Georgia Department of Revenue website. You need to submit fingerprints and pass a background check, as well as post a bond to ensure your compliance with Georgia tax laws. You can expect to pay a liquor fee and a background check fee of $100 each.

Obtain a liquor license from your county. Each county has different liquor license requirements. In general, you can obtain a county liquor license by visiting your county website or county government center and obtaining the necessary forms. You also need to pay a liquor license fee. Fees vary by county, but in Fulton County, for example, the fee for a retail liquor license runs $3,000, as of 2011, plus another $800 in investigation fees and an advertising fee of up to $1,175 for a corporation. This fee pays the cost of advertising an announcement for a hearing on your license application in local newspapers.

Obtain a business license from your county, which will also register your business with state sales and use tax collection officials. You're responsible for collecting sales taxes on your sales and forwarding them to state revenue officials. Contact county officials for specific information on obtaining a county business license.