Eliot Knows Archives

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Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.


“How do I apply to operate a business regulated by TTB?”

Permits Online
Alcohol or Tobacco Businesses

Firearms and Ammunition Businesses
Additional Resources


Alcohol or Tobacco Businesses

TTB’s National Revenue Center (NRC)—the division of TTB responsible for processing permits, claims, and special tax returns— has developed two methods for submitting applications, Permits Online and online application packets.

Several applications are available through Permits Online, the preferred and method for submitting an application.  Applications are added to Permits Online in phases.

Online application packets are available for applications that have not been added to Permits Online yet.  You may download and electronically complete these packets which are a combination of the required forms with instructions and resources to aid you in filing an acceptable application.  Online application packets must be submitted by mail.

Once your application is submitted to NRC, a specialist will start the review process for TTB approval to operate.

Don’t forget… you may need other permits or licenses from other government agencies. Check with your local, state and other Federal authorities to be sure that all permit and licensing requirements are met.

Firearms and Ammunition Businesses

Firearms and Ammunition manufacturers and importers file and pay to TTB excise taxes on the sale and business use of firearms and ammunition.  These businesses must also file a Tax-Free application with TTB before making tax-free sales.  Others wanting to purchase firearms and ammunition tax-free may also be required to submit a Tax-Free application.  The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) packet includes a combination of required forms, and instructions along with tools and resources to aid you in filing an acceptable application for tax-free transactions.

Additional Resources

  • To help prevent delays in the processing of your application packet, carefully read all instructions— including the Information Letter, Questions and Answers document—and other helpful tools NRC provides.  Also, take time to review the regulations that apply to your particular operation.
  • TTB’s application forms satisfy the requirements of the two Federal laws that have jurisdiction over the regulated industries, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act). Learn more at TTB.gov’s TTB Statutory Authorities and Responsibilities page.

 If you need assistance selecting the proper packet(s), contact TTB’s National Revenue Center toll-free at 1 (877) 882-3277 or directly at (513) 684-3334.  You may also email us at National Revenue Center.

Visit the Eliot Knows Archives to see other popular questions and answers.

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011