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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 111568
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I live in the state of CA, I want to ship customers cigars

Customer Question

I live in the state of CA, I want to ship customers cigars and alcohol in all 50 states.
I have an LLC established. What else will I need outside of that to conduct business legally? Do I need to get a liquor license in all 50 states, or is there one that will cover everything. Is there any licensing I need for tobacco products? Is there special taxes I need to charge customers for these products? What steps do I need to take so that I can do this?
Again this is all online, nothing in person, not sure if that changes things. Customers will order online and we will ship to them. Will only be shipping small amounts of both.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You can ship cigars across state lines without any issues or any licenses from your LLC.
The problem comes in for alcohol. You need a liquor license in your state, of course. As far as shipping alcohol to other states, this is an issue because each and every state has separate laws and you cannot ship alcohol to many states. Here are the shipper restrictions on alcohol (US Postal Service will not ship alcohol, you have to use a private shipper) https://www.refundtiger.com/how-to-ship-alcohol-in-the-u-s/
Here is a list of the state laws you have to comply with to ship alcohol to individual states and for each state you are shipping to you have to comply with that state's law: http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/direct-shipment-of-alcohol-state-statutes.aspx
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,I am a bit confused. The first link you sent me is relevant to shipping companies. It seems to say that both UPS and Fedex will only do it if both the shipper and the receiver are licensed.View this company: https://flaviar.com They ship alcohol to all sorts of customers in many states and countries. They mention of shipping availability: "At the moment we ship to all European Union (EU) countries and the United States, with the exception of the following sates: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas or Utah"This is just one random company, but there are obviously lots of companies that ship alcohol to consumers in many states. So what licensing are they doing to be able to ship via the major shippers?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

That is correct, the shipping company link was to tell you what the shipping company requirements are and that is a general link.

The more important link is the second link, the one with the state laws for shipping alcohol into the state. Some states prohibit it completely and I know Flaviar may do it, but they are in London and even they are abiding by the second link of US laws which restricts the states where they will ship to because of state laws.

If you ship in accordance with state laws, DHL, FedEx and UPS can ship if you follow their policies.

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