Operating an ABL business
Liquor liability insurance
If your business is open after 5 p.m. to sell alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and/or liquor) for on-premises consumption, you must provide a copy of your liquor liability policy or general liability insurance policy with a liquor endorsement for an aggregate – not a per occurrence - of at least $1 million during the period of the biennial permit or license (SC Code Section 61-2-145). We strongly encourage permit and license holders to notify us of any changes to your insurance coverage.
See a list of approved eligible surplus lines insurers that may offer liquor liability insurance or general liability insurance with a liquor liability endorsement (information provided by the South Carolina Department of Insurance).
Legal employment and serving age
No one under the age of 21 may work in a liquor manufacturing, wholesale, or retail liquor store business.
- Under 18: May serve beer and wine only in sealed containers to be consumed off of the licensed premises (may not serve distilled spirits)
Restaurants and other establishments licensed for on-premises consumption must uphold the following age requirements when hiring servers and bartenders:
- Over 18 and under 21: May serve beer, wine, and distilled spirits in open containers to be consumed on the licensed premises when the alcohol has been mixed, poured, or prepared by another employee who is at least 21 years of age
See SC Code Sections
- Under 21: May not mix, pour, or prepare beer, wine, or distilled spirits to be consumed on the licensed premises (Bartenders must be at least 21 years of age when hired.)
Click on a topic below for more details on operating an ABL business:
(Counties and municipalities approved for Sunday sales)
(Listed by license and permit types)
(ABL license holders: Retail liquor stores, breweries, distilleries, & wineries)
(Containers of condensed beer, wine, or liquor)
Register your brand
Who should register their brand:
- Out-of-state manufacturers selling and shipping into South Carolina
- In-state manufacturers selling and shipping out of South Carolina
Registering your brand online:
malt products can be registered online at: productregistrationonline.com
Liquor brands must be submitted by paper using the Application for Liquor Brand Registration (ABL-107A).
Variety Packs or Value Added Packages (VAPs) do not need to be registered as long as the individual alcoholic products inside the package are already registered.
See a list of approved brands at: sc.productregistrationonline.com/brands
We accept the federal
Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approvals (COLA) or Formula approvals as stated in the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's (TTB) guidelines for label approval. Federal TTB’s must be received with your registration form.
You can register your brand to more than one licensed South Carolina wholesaler as long as it does not violate any distribution agreements entered into between you and your wholesalers.
(See when a new label registration is needed and when shipping can begin)
Advertising, packaging, & promotions
The following topics cover the advertising of promotions and discounts for beer, wine, and liquor.
(Laws for advertising beer, wine, and liquor promotions and discounts)
(Non alcoholic merchandise)
(Legal and prohibited promotions for discount beer, wine, and liquor)