Development Service Center | Cherokee County, GA - Where Metro Meets the Mountains


Alcoholic Beverage License

Anyone intending to sell or offer to sell alcoholic beverages at a wholesale or retail establishment in Cherokee County for consumption on or off premises must first obtain an Alcoholic Beverage License from Cherokee County Development Service Center.

Alcoholic Beverage Licenses are issued to each individual establishment. The license is not transferable and must be obtained before opening a new establishment or change of ownership or licensee occurs. Each business must also have obtained an Occupation Tax Certificate (Business License) and be current on all taxes and fees required by Cherokee County.

Any violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance or any law governing the sale of alcoholic beverages will result in penalties imposed by the Cherokee County Magistrate Court. In addition to these penalties, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners reserves the right to revoke any license or permit that is not in compliance at any time without refund. In the event that an Alcoholic Beverage License is suspended, written notification will be sent to the licensee on record.

The following is general information regarding the regulation of alcoholic beverages in Cherokee County. Refer to Chapter 6 – Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance for detailed information regarding the issuance of alcoholic licenses and permits. For information regarding Georgia State Laws contact the Georgia Department of Revenue

Types of licenses

  1. Manufacturing – any maker, producer or bottler of an alcoholic beverage
  2. Wholesale – any person, firm or corporation engaged in the distribution of alcoholic beverages
  3. Retail – the sale of alcoholic products packaged and intended for consumption off premises
  4. Consumption on premises – the sale of distilled spirits to consumers for consumption on premises 


Please submit the following application and all required documentation in person to the Development Service Center at 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton GA 30114. If you have any questions, please call 770-721-7810 or email

  • Alcoholic Beverage License Application
  • Licensee Application - Alcoholic Beverage License
  • SAVE affidavit - we will notarize for you at no cost
  • Private employer affidavit pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 60-60-6(d) - we will notarize for you at no cost
  • Background check/fingerprint consent form (you must have a credit card to pay for fingerprints, payment is NOT collected by Cherokee County, is paid directly to the agency conducting the inquiry) fingerprints are required only at initial application.
  • Certificate of completion of Alcohol Sales and Service Workshop (RASS) for licensee and managers ONLY. (see approved vendors below)
  • Plans and rendering of proposed building (only applies to new establishments)
  • Zoning Certification
  • Proof of Georgia residency (12 months)
  • Payment in full 

Approved vendors for Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service training / workshops

  1. Operation 21 -
  2. Training Institute for Responsible Vendors -
  3. Evindi, Inc. -

 Please consider that it may take 45 days or more to process any application for an Alcoholic Beverage License.


A license will not be granted if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Suspension or revocation of a previous Alcoholic Beverage License for violating any law, ordinance or regulation within a 10-year period
  • An applicant for a retail license is immediate family to any distributor or wholesaler of alcoholic beverages or an employee of such a business
  • An applicant or a corporation or partnership where the applicant is an officer, director, shareholder, general partner or managing agent is delinquent in the payment of property taxes or license fees to the county
  • An applicant receives a felony conviction within 10 years and/or misdemeanor conviction within five years prior to filing for application

NOTE: An applicant with a direct financial interest in a wholesale license must not hold any other type of alcoholic beverage license.

Proof of residency

Anyone applying for an Alcoholic Beverage License must have been a resident of the State of Georgia for at least one year prior to submitting the application.

Corporations and limited liability companies must name in the application at least one or more residents of the county as a registered agent and the named agent(s) must be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. The registered agent will receive all communications, notices or other documents in behalf of the corporation or Limited Liability Company.

If the registered agent changes or ceases to reside in Cherokee County, the licensee must send written notification to the Development Service Center within five days of the change. A fee of $100.00 will be charged for the change of a registered agent. A $500.00 fee will be assessed if the Development Service Center is notified after the five-day period.

Background and fingerprinting

Any and all owners or partners with a 20 percent or greater financial interest in the application and any registered agents are required to complete a background check and fingerprinting. The County Marshal will conduct and review all background checks. (you must have a credit card to pay for fingerprints, payment is NOT collected by Cherokee County, is paid directly to the agency conducting the inquiry)

The Development Service Center will conduct a County records inquiry to determine if the applicant or party with an interest in a license application has any outstanding taxes or any other monies owed to the County. A license will not be issued until such debts are paid in full.

New establishment/new construction

All applicants must furnish plans and renderings of the proposed premises. New construction may require a Land Disturbance Permit, Building Permit and Architectural Approval. A zoning certification is required to be submitted with application.

The table below lists the required distance, in feet, of various types of alcoholic beverage sales establishments from an existing regulated land use.

Distance in feet for each type of beverage sales



Day Care Center

Hospital, Nursing Home

Consumption on premises (Restaurant)





Consumption on premises(Lounge)





Convenience store
(Beer and Wine)





Major grocery store
(Beer and Wine)






Measurements of required distance should be calculated as follows

  • In a straight line from the establishment’s front door to the front door of the building of a church, government-owned treatment center or retail package store; or
  • To the nearest property line of a school or educational building

Denial of application

All decisions resulting in the denial of a license application must state the reasons for the denial in writing. Written notice of the notification of denial will be sent to the applicant on record. The applicant has 30 days from the date of written notice to petition for reconsideration by the Board of Commissioners. The decision by the Board is final. An applicant must wait 12 months from the denial date before submitting another Alcoholic Beverage License application.

Manager’s Permit

Anyone licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises in Cherokee County must employ one or more persons as manager(s) of the establishment. At least one manager must be present at all times when alcoholic beverages are being consumed.

How do I obtain a Manager’s Permit?

A Manager’s Permit is issued to individual applicants within three days of employment. The Permit is valid for 12 months from date of issuance and is not transferable. A Manager’s Permit must be displayed at all times and available for inspection. To obtain a Manager’s Permit, the licensed applicant must submit:

Anyone convicted of violating any law or ordinance governing the sale of alcoholic beverages or the sale or possession of illegal drugs in the past five years will not be eligible to receive a Manager’s Permit.
open space

Temporary Permits for Special Events open space

1. Parking lot of licensed establishment
    A licensed establishment can be permitted no more than three Special Events in a calendar year.
2. Pouring license for special events by a non-profit organization
    A temporary pouring license may be issued for a period not to exceed six days in a calendar year.
Please visit our Special Events web page for more information, or contact us at


Application Fee $300.00                                                        
Beer and Wine license $750.00
Liquor license  $3,000.00
Sunday Sales (on premises) $500.00
Sunday Sales (off premises) $250.00
Manager's permit $100.00
Ancillary Wine Tasting application $250.00
Ancillary Wine Tasting license $100.00
Fingerprint application $52.75 (must be paid with credit card)
Special Event serving alcohol - application $100.00 (plus $50.00 for special event permit)

 How do I renew my Alcoholic Beverage License?ne space

All Alcoholic Beverage Licenses expire on December 31 of each calendar year. Renewal applications are due on or before November 30. Renewal applications must be received by the Cherokee County Development Service Center before 5:00 p.m. or postmarked no later than November 30
Applications for renewals will not be accepted after December 31. A business that fails to renew will be required to apply for a new license.
Mail all or submit all of the documents identified below to Cherokee County Development Service Center, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton GA. 30114. Make checks payable to Cherokee County; include your Alcoholic Beverage License number on your check. Please call 770-721-7810 or email with any questions. Required documents;

Any changes in ownership, licensee or address must be submitted in person to the Development Service Center to obtain a new Alcoholic Beverage License, register for fingerprints (if new owner or licensee) and to perform a background check. 

 Alcoholic Beverage Excise Tax
Cherokee County charges excise tax on malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits -retail package and consumption.  Alcoholic Beverage Excise Tax is collected and enforced by the Finance Department.  For more information visit their website at
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