(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, no distributor shall engage in the business of distributing tobacco products within this state without having a license issued by the department of taxation to engage in that business. On the dissolution of a partnership by death, the surviving partner may operate under the license of the partnership until the expiration of the license, and the heirs or legal representatives of deceased persons, and receivers and trustees in bankruptcy appointed by any competent authority, may operate under the license of the person succeeded in possession by the heir, representative, receiver, or trustee in bankruptcy if the partner or successor notifies the department of taxation of the dissolution or succession within thirty days after the dissolution or succession.
(B)(1) Each applicant for a license to engage in the business of distributing tobacco products, annually, on or before the first day of February, shall make and deliver to the tax commissioner, upon a form furnished by the commissioner for that purpose, a statement showing the name of the applicant, each physical place from which the applicant distributes to distributors, retail dealers, or wholesale dealers, and any other information the commissioner considers necessary for the administration of sections 5743.51 to 5743.66 of the Revised Code .
(2) At the time of making the license application, the applicant shall pay an application fee of one thousand dollars for each place listed on the application where the applicant proposes to carry on that business. The fee charged for the application shall accompany the application and shall be made payable to the treasurer of state for deposit into the cigarette tax enforcement fund.
(3) Upon receipt of the application and payment of any licensing fee required by this section, the commissioner shall issue to the applicant a license for each place of distribution designated in the application authorizing the applicant to engage in business at that location for one year commencing on the first day of February. For licenses issued after the first day of February, the license application fee shall be reduced proportionately by the remainder of the twelve-month period for which the license is issued, except that the application fee required to be paid under this section shall be not less than two hundred dollars. If the original license is lost, destroyed, or defaced, a duplicate license may be obtained from the commissioner upon payment of a license replacement fee of twenty-five dollars.
(C) The holder of a tobacco products license may transfer the license to a place of business on condition that the licensee's ownership and business structure remains unchanged and the licensee applies to the commissioner for the transfer on a form issued by the commissioner, and pays a transfer fee of twenty-five dollars.
(D) If a distributor fails to file forms as required under Chapter 1346. or section 5743.52 of the Revised Code or pay the tax due for two consecutive periods or three periods during any twelve-month period, the commissioner may suspend the license issued to the distributor under this section. The suspension is effective ten days after the commissioner notifies the distributor of the suspension in writing personally or by certified mail. The commissioner shall lift the suspension when the distributor files the delinquent forms and pays the tax due, including any penalties, interest, and additional charges. The commissioner may refuse to issue the annual renewal of the license required by this section and may refuse to issue a new license for the same location until all delinquent forms are filed and outstanding taxes are paid. This division does not apply to any unpaid or underpaid tax liability that is the subject of a petition or appeal filed pursuant to section 5743.56 , 5717.02 , or 5717.04 of the Revised Code .
(E)(1) The tax commissioner may impose a penalty of up to one thousand dollars on any person found to be engaging in the business of distributing tobacco products without a license as required by this section.
(2) Any person engaging in the business of distributing tobacco products without a license as required by this section shall comply with divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section within ten days after being notified of the requirement to do so. Failure to comply with division (E)(2) of this section subjects a person to penalties imposed under section 5743.99 of the Revised Code .