Beer & Wine License

Who Must Obtain A Beer & Wine Business Privilege License
If you are engaged in the business of selling beer and wine, you must first obtain a permit (PDF) from the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (NCABC). After obtaining this permit, you must apply for a beer and wine business privilege license from the City of Durham Business Tax Unit, located on the 1st floor of City Hall, Suite 1100.

Licensing Period
The license to sell beer and wine must be purchased annually. The business year for beer and wine business privilege licenses begins on May 1, and ends April 30 of the following year. A license to sell beer and wine must be renewed no later than May 1st of each year.

Beer & Wine Business Privilege License Fees
  • On-Premises licenses (example: restaurants or lounges): $30
  • Off-Premises licenses (example: convenience or grocery store): $15
  • Tax Schedule (PDF)
Beer & Wine Business Privilege License Penalties
It is the responsibility of each individual to determine whether the business he or she conducts is taxed under the City ordinance, and if so, whether that tax has been paid for the current year. No person or business entity conducting business within the city limits of the City of Durham for which a beer and wine business privilege license is required, shall do so without first obtaining a beer and wine business privilege license and paying the appropriate fee(s). Any business conducting business activity within the City limits of Durham without a beer and wine business privilege license, shall be liable for back (unpaid) business license taxes and shall be subject to a penalty of 5% of the annual license tax for each month that the business operates without a license, up to a maximum of 25% per annum.

How To Apply For A Beer and Wine Business Privilege License
To apply for a City of Durham beer and wine business privilege license, you must first fill out a beer and wine business privilege license application form. You may also obtain an application form by visiting the Business License Unit, located on the 1st floor of City Hall.

New applications may be submitted to the Business License Unit located on the first floor of City Hall by mail.

The waiting period for application approval is approximately 90 days from the date you submit the application. You will be notified when your application has been approved. If you have questions, email or call 919-560-4700.