Over the summer, Maine’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations issued clarification of its ownership disclosure requirements for new applicants and existing license or certificate holders. We understand the significant impact this has on industry members and have summarized the updated guidance below.
Like most states, Maine has a long history of requesting the ownership information for the licensed entity. Maine law 28-A M.R.S. § 651(2)(A) states that an application must contain the entire ownership or any interest in the person or establishment for which a license or certificate of approval is sought. Historically, Maine has issued licenses with disclosure of the applicant and its parent company so long as these entities or individuals met the eligibility requirements discussed in 28-A M.R.S. § 601.
However, Maine’s new enforcement of §651 now focuses on the “entire” ownership structure; it requires disclosure of every level of ownership until the entity identifies everyone with ownership interest in the business or until a public entity is listed. This requirement applies to all applicants and licensees, including holders of a certificate of approval.
This level of ownership disclosure is rare in this heavily regulated industry. It is a burden on current license or certificate holders entering their renewal period as well as on new applicants looking to begin business in the state.
McDermott’s alcohol team is working closely with the state to navigate this new requirement and to discuss legislative changes to best support both industry members and regulators while ensuring our clients are able to continue operations with license extensions. For questions or assistance with Maine’s disclosure requirements, please contact Alva Mather or the alcohol team.