Alcohol delivery: How to stay in compliance 

Rules that allow liquor to-go and alcohol delivery in Washington are great wins for our industry, but if we want to see these rules become permanent, ensuring compliance is important. Remember, liquor license holders are ultimately the ones who are responsible and accountable for ensuring compliance with all liquor laws and rules.   

The sale of alcohol products in factory  and manufacturersealed containers through curbside, takeout, and delivery service is currently allowed and the rule is set to expire on July 1, 2023. Licensees may only sell the types of manufacturer sealed alcohol products that they are authorized to sell under the terms of their license, and the packaging must be clearly marked as alcohol for persons 21 and older.  

Alcohol delivery 

Delivery must be made by someone who is 21 or older. Third-party service providers are allowed if licensees comply with the existing consumer orders, internet sales, and delivery rules. If you want to offer delivery through a third-party service, you will need to make sure it is following the rules because the licensee, is responsible for all deliveries made on their behalf. Some things to remember regarding third-party alcohol delivery:  

  • You must submit an application and receive approval before you enter a contract for third-party alcohol delivery. Fill out and submit the Added Activity Application available at lcb.wa.gov. 
  • The service provider should be charging a flat service fee per transaction. Service fees cannot be based on a percentage of sales. 
  • The service provider must transfer proceeds from the sale to the licensee immediately. The service provider cannot hold proceeds from the sale or disburse payments in a lump sum. 
  • Third-party providers can only deliver alcohol that is in a factory sealed container, so cocktail delivery can only be provided directly by the licensee.  

 

Additional resources 

We have a webinar with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board coming up soon that will provide an in-depth explanation on the current alcohol to-go rules in Washington. This post will be updated with more details when the time and day are scheduled.  

Non-retail businesses filling out an Added Activity Application should fill out this form and email a copy of the application to nonretailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov. 

You can find the rules for third party service providers in WACs 314-03-020, 314-03-030, 314-03-035, and 314-03-040. 

If you have additional questions about applying for liquor to-go, you can check out our post with specifics on how to apply for an alcohol to-go license. We also have a post with more information about general alcohol compliance checks you may face. If you have additional questions about compliance or want to know more about a specific third-party service provider, please contact your territory manager.