To distribute, sell, or manufacture alcohol in Ohio, you must obtain a permit from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. The State of Ohio divides the permit class types into categories depending on the type of establishment and type of alcohol you intend to manufacture, distribute, or sell, with varying rules for each. The four main categories of permits are Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer/Restaurant/Bar, and Temporary Permits. Ohio Revised Codes 4101 and 4103 cover the laws pertaining to these permits.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of all the available permits, these are some of the most common Manufacturer and Retailer/Restaurant/Bar permit types and should offer a good understanding of permit options available.
D1: Sale of Beer for on-premises and off-premises consumption until 1:00 a.m.
May sell Beer in glass or container for consumption on the premises where sold
May sell Beer in original container for consumption off-premises where sold
D2: Sale of Wine and pre-packaged Mixed Beverages for on-premises and off-premises consumption until 1:00 a.m.
May sell wine in original packages, prepared and bottled cocktails/mixed beverages in original packages, and cider in original packages for consumption off premises
D3: Sale of Spirituous Liquor for on-premises consumption until 1:00 a.m.
May sell Spirituous Liquor at retail for consumption on the premises where sold
D-3A: Extends hours of sale until 2:30 a.m.
If the D-3a permit holder is also a D-1 permit holder, the holder may sell Beer until 2:30 a.m.
If the D-3a permit holder is also a D-2 permit holder, the holder may sell Intoxicating Liquor until 2:30 a.m.
If D-3a permit holder is also a D-3 permit holder, the holder may sell Spirituous Liquor until 2:30 a.m.
May furnish music and entertainment
D5: Sale of Beer, Wine, pre-packaged Mixed Beverages, and Spirituous Liquor for on-premises consumption until 2:30 a.m. Sale of Beer, Wine, and pre-packaged Mixed Beverages, for carryout until 2:30 a.m.
May sell Beer and Intoxicating liquor from 5:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. the following day
If a permit holder has both D3A and D3 permits, the permit holder does not need a D5
D-5I: Allows restaurants to meet certain conditions to sell Beer and Intoxicating Liquor
May sell Beer and Intoxicating liquor until 2:30 a.m. if following requirements are met:
(1) It is located in a municipal corporation or a township with a population of one hundred thousand or less.
(2) It has inside seating capacity for at least one hundred forty persons.
(3) It has at least four thousand square feet of floor area.
(4) It offers full-course meals
(5) Its receipts from beer and liquor sales only, do not exceed twenty-five per cent of its total gross receipts.
And it has one of the two following characteristics:
(1) The value of its real and personal property exceeds seven hundred twenty-five thousand dollars, OR
(2) It is located on property that is owned or leased by the state or a state agency, and its owner or operator has authorization from the state or the state agency that owns or leases the property to obtain a D-5i permit.
D-5J: Sales of alcohol until 2:30 a.m. that is located within a Community Entertainment District (CED)
Same as D5, however these permits are limited to specific CED's that have authorized their additional issuance.
The permit may only be transferred within the boundaries of the CED (i.e. exempt from TREX transfer).
D-6: Sunday sales of intoxicating liquor
Allows a permit holder the same privileges for sale of Intoxicating Liquor on Sundays as the permit holder has for Monday through Saturday
Not required if just selling Beer
A1-C: Manufacturer of Beer with annual production volume of 31 million gallons or less
May sell Beer for home use, and to retailers and wholesalers
May sell Beer manufactured on premises at retail
A-3A: Manufacturer of less than 100,000 gallons of spirituous liquor
May sell Spiritous Liquors to a personal consumer for consumption off the premises where manufactured if sold to consumer on the premises
May sell Spirituous Liquor for consumption off premises as an independent contract, under agreement, with the Division of Liquor Control
May offer tasting samples of Spirituous Liquor
Fee: Variable, depending on production quantity
A-1A: Affords A1, A1-C, A2, A-2f, or A-3A permit holders the ability to sell other manufacturers beer or intoxicating liquor.
May sell Beer and Intoxicating Liquor until 2:30 a.m.
In lieu of obtaining a restaurant operating license, may serve prepackaged meals, nonalcoholic beverages, and alcoholic beverages, OR host a mobile food service (e.g., food truck) for customers
A-1: Manufacturer of Beer with annual production volume of more than 31 million gallons
May sell Beer manufactured on the premises at retail for consumption on the premises
Please note that wet/dry local option may apply depending on the permit type you pursue. If you have questions about pursuing a liquor permit, we recommend discussing with an attorney familiar with Ohio liquor law.