Virginia ABC > Licenses > Retail Resources > Record Keeping

Record Keeping

Virginia ABC special agents can inspect your business at any time, so it makes good sense to have your documents and records in good order at all times. The Virginia Administrative Code (VAC) requires licensees to comply with the regulations listed below.

Records Requirements

  • Keep complete and accurate records of all transactions at your place of business for at least two years. Records of alcoholic beverage transactions should be kept separately in an orderly arrangement and must be available for inspection at the request of ABC agents. (3 VAC 5-70-90.A)
  • Keep wine, beer and liquor invoices for two years. Invoices shall show date of purchase, the type and amount bought and the name and address of the persons from whom you purchased. Daily sales records shall also be kept and show the amount of food and alcoholic beverages sold and prices charged. (3 VAC 5-70-90.C)
  • Keep a record of all checks used for purchase of alcoholic beverages and do not throw away canceled checks and related bank statements. (3 VAC 5-70-9.A)
  • Mixed beverage licensees must track sales and purchases of all mixed beverages, food and nonalcoholic beverages. Once a year, each mixed beverage licensee is required to submit an annual review report to the Board showing all purchases and sales of alcoholic beverages during the year as well as an accurate inventory. Keep in mind that in determining "gross receipts from the sale of food" you should not include receipts for food for which there was no sale, which includes food given away as part of a promotion or provided for free at a private function. Also, food sales should be reported net of any discounts or coupons. (3 VAC 5-70-90.D & F)

Ownership Changes

  • Only the individual, partnership, association or corporation whose name appears on the license may use the privileges of the license. Any change in the status on non-corporate ownership, such as the sale of the business or taking on a new partner, automatically terminates the current license and a new application must be filed. If a corporation holds a license and any changes in the officers, directors, or shareholders owning 10 percent or more of the stock occurs, Virginia ABC must be notified within 30 days. However, publicly owned corporations whose stock is traded on an exchange do not have to report stock transfers. (3 VAC 5-70-90.G)
  • Persons to whom a license has been issued should not allow other persons to receive a percentage of the income of the business or have an ownership interest in the business (no "shadow owners or silent partners"). This does not prohibit the payment of franchise fees or the payment of rent based on gross receipts. (3 VAC 5-50-220)
  • No license is transferable from one person to another or from one place to another. (COV 4.1-203)
  • Each license must be posted in a location on the premise where it is clearly visible. (COV 4.1-203)

Revised February 26, 2015

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Virginia ABC offers free online training to help managers, sellers and servers to become more responsible and better understand ABC laws, rules and regulations. For more information, contact Education and Prevention, (804) 977-7440 or education@virginiaabc.com.

The information on this page is meant for general guidance only. For specific questions, contact your ABC special agent. To view ABC laws and regulations, visit Virginia’s Legislative Information System.