I recently met with an executive director, development director and the agency’s event chair. The words “Charitable Event Permit” when discussing their auction nearly made them fall from the chairs! Many people aren’t aware this permit is required if wine and spirits are part of their auction or raffle package sales.

The first response after their breath returns is usually, “We didn’t have to do this at the last venue.” Unfortunately it isn’t about where the auction takes place; it is about TABC getting their share of the sale. Because TABC’s revenue comes from fees and taxes on the sale of any kind of alcohol, they require non-profits selling alcoholic products in an auction to pay the permit fee and applicable taxes.

Wine PullLegitimate venues and caterers need to be educated on the regulations behind any alcohol transaction. Professional event planners and agency staff supporting auctions should be knowledgeable of policies surrounding the items in the auction. An inexperienced planner or venue manager could be detrimental to the organization because fines and tax fraud are two possible consequences of not having the proper permits. Non-profit organizations have HR departments, risk management personnel, and accountants, but most don’t consider the law and liability of selling wine, beer, or liquor through an auction, raffle baskets, or give-a-ways.

To be fair, this information is not something that is highly advertised or discussed at board or committee meetings. For a long time TABC and some venues turned a blind eye to requiring the permit and that has contributed to the ignorance surrounding state regulations. Those days are over!

TABC’s vision states, “A safe and healthy Texas served by an innovative Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulating a responsible and compliant alcoholic beverage industry.” In order to inform our clients and readers, please see the first section of the instructions per TABC.


Authorizes the holder to conduct an auction where the sale of the type of alcoholic beverage to be auctioned is authorized by a local-option election. The permit may be issued only to an organization exempt by an I.R.S. 501(c)(3) and may be issued only one per calendar year. Term is for a maximum of five days. The fee is $25 with a surcharge of $201. You must include a list of all items to be sold at the event, their value, who donated the item and also list who paid for each item, how much they bought it for and their contact information.

1. To avoid processing delays this application should be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of an event. Some areas require more time for your application to be approved by local officials. Please contact your local office to avoid any delays.

2. The exact street address with suite number, name of building, and description or block number must be indicated on the application.

3. A property owner of the location of the temporary event must submit a letter stating the permit holder is authorized to sell alcoholic beverages on that property. This letter must provide a contact name and telephone number, the exact location, date, and time of the event.

4. Please contact your local TABC Office for guidelines on local community requirements, diagrams, and approval of any alcoholic beverage sponsorship agreements.

5. Make three copies of your application. Keep a copy for your records. Submit original and two copies to your local TABC Office along with:

• sponsorship agreements,
• letter from the property owner,
• diagram, and
• correct permit fee and surcharge in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, or firm check from corporate permittee payable to the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

6. It is the applicant’s responsibility to verify with their local TABC Office and local officials, the required forms/permits necessary for the event. It is also the applicant’s responsibility to ensure adherence to all local ordinances and state laws.

Amy Harrison, the Director of the Licensing Division, may be contacted at 817-652-5912. The TABC – Arlington Office is located at 2225 E Randol Mill Road, Ste 200 in Arlington, TX 76011.

Please be informed! Get a permit if your group is going to BENEFIT from the sale of alcoholic products: beer, wine and liquor! Follow this link https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/forms/licensing.asp to view the Temporary License/Permit Application Packet. The packet will give you instructions as well as the form to secure your permit.

-Amy Shackelford

Amy Shackelford