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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.

ARTICLE 16. NONINTOXICATING BEER.

§11-16-8. Form of application for license; fee and bond; refusal of license.

(a) A license may be issued by the commissioner to any person who submits an application, accompanied by a license fee and, where required, a bond, and states under oath:

(1) The name and residence of the applicant, the duration of such residency, that the applicant has been a resident of the state for a period of two years preceding the date of the application and that the applicant is 21 years of age. If the applicant is a firm, association, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, the application shall include the residence of the members or officers for a period of two years preceding the date of such application. If a person, firm, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association, corporation, or trust applies for a license as a distributor, such person, or in the case of a firm, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association or trust, the members, officers, trustees or other persons in active control of the activities of the limited liability company, association or trust relating to the license, shall state under oath that each has been a bona fide resident of the state for four years preceding the date of such application. If the applicant is a trust or has a trust as an owner, the trustees or other persons in active control of the activities of the trust relating to the license shall provide a certification of trust as described in §44D-10-1013 of this code. This certification of trust shall include the excerpts described in §44D-10-1013(e), of this code and shall further state, under oath, the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and birth dates of the beneficiaries of the trust and certify that the trustee and beneficiaries are 21 years of age or older. If a beneficiary is not 21 years of age, the certification of trust must state that such beneficiary"s interest in the trust is represented by a trustee, parent, or legal guardian who is 21 years of age and who will direct all actions on behalf of such beneficiary related to the trust with respect to the distributor until the beneficiary is 21 years of age. Any beneficiary who is not 21 years of age or older shall have his or her trustee, parent, or legal guardian include in the certification of trust and state under oath his or her name, address, Social Security number and birth date;

(2) The place of birth of applicant, that he or she is a citizen of the United States and of good moral character and, if a naturalized citizen, when and where naturalized. If the applicant is a corporation organized or authorized to do business under the laws of the state, the application must state when and where incorporated, the name and address of each officer, and that each officer is a citizen of the United States and a person of good moral character. If the applicant is a firm, association, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, trust or has a trust as an owner, the application shall provide the place of birth of each member of the firm, association, limited liability company, partnership or limited partnership and of the trustees, beneficiaries or other persons in active control of the activities of the trust relating to the license and that each member or trustee, beneficiary or other persons in active control of the activities of the trust relating to the license is a citizen of the United States, and if a naturalized citizen, when and where naturalized, each of whom must qualify and sign the application. The requirements as to residence do not apply to the officers of a corporation applying for a retailer"s license but the officers, agent, or employee who manages and is in charge of the licensed premises shall possess all of the qualifications required of an individual applicant for a retailer"s license including the requirement as to residence;

(3) The particular place for which the license is desired and a detailed description thereof;

(4) The name of the owner of the building and, if the owner is not the applicant, that the applicant is the actual and bona fide lessee of the premises;

(5) That the place or building in which is proposed to do business conforms to all applicable laws of health, fire and zoning regulations and is a safe and proper place or building not within 300 feet of a school or church measured from front door to front door, along the street or streets. This requirement does not apply to a Class B license or to a place occupied by a beer licensee so long as it is continuously so occupied. The prohibition against locating a proposed business in a place or building within 300 feet of a school does not apply to a college or university that has notified the commissioner, in writing, that it has no objection to the location of a proposed business in a place or building within 300 feet of the college or university;

(6) That the applicant is not incarcerated and has not during the five years preceding the date of said application been convicted of a felony;

(7) That the applicant is the only person in any manner pecuniarily interested in the business so asked to be licensed and that no other person is in any manner pecuniarily interested during the continuance of the license; and

(8) That the applicant has not during five years preceding the date of the application had a nonintoxicating beer license revoked.

(b) In the case of an applicant that is a trust or has a trust as an owner, a distributor license may be issued only upon submission by the trustees or other persons in active control of the activities of the trust relating to the distributor license of a true and correct copy of the written trust instrument to the commissioner for his or her review. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the copy of the written trust instrument submitted to the commissioner pursuant to this section is confidential and is not a public record and is not available for release pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act codified in 29B-1-1 et seq. of this code.

(c) The provisions and requirements of subsection (a) of this section are mandatory prerequisites for the issuance and, if any applicant fails to qualify, the license shall be refused. In addition to the information furnished in any application, the commissioner may make such additional and independent investigation of each applicant and of the place to be occupied as necessary or advisable and, for this reason, all applications, with license fee and bond, must be submitted with all true and correct information. For the purpose of conducting such independent investigation, the commissioner may withhold the granting or refusal to grant such license for a 30-day period or until the applicant has completed the conditions set forth in this section. If it shall appear that such applicant meets the requirements in the code and the rules, including, but not limited to, being a suitable person of good reputation and morals; having made no false statements or material misrepresentations; involving no hidden ownership; and having no persons with an undisclosed pecuniary interest contained in such application; and if there are no other omissions or failures by the applicant to complete the application, as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner shall issue a license authorizing the applicant to sell nonintoxicating beer or nonintoxicating craft beer.

(d) The commissioner may refuse a license to any applicant under the provisions of this article if the commissioner is of the opinion:

(1) That the applicant is not a suitable person to be licensed;

(2) That the place to be occupied by the applicant is not a suitable place or is within 300 feet of any school or church measured from front door to front door along the street or streets. This requirement does not apply to a Class B licensee or to a place now occupied by a beer licensee so long as it is continuously so occupied. The prohibition against locating any such place within 300 feet of a school does not apply to a college or university that has notified the commissioner, in writing, that it has no objection to the location of any such place within 300 feet; or

(3) That the license should not be issued for reason of conduct declared to be unlawful by this article.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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