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Starting a Microbrewery – Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Do you want to know the legal requirements you need to start a microbrewery business? If YES, here is a checklist of microbrewery licenses, permits & insurance.

Having provided you with a:

  1. Beer Industry Overview
  2. Market Research and Feasibility
  3. Microbrewery Business Plan
  4. Microbrewery Marketing Plan
  5. Microbrewery Name ideas
  6. Microbrewery Licenses and Permits
  7. Cost for Starting a Microbrewery
  8. Microbrewery Marketing ideas

We will consider what it takes to get operating license and permit for your microbrewery business including insurance coverage and intellectual property protection.

Starting a Microbrewery – Licenses, Permits & Insurance

  • The Best Legal Entity to Use for a Microbrewery

It depends on what you want and the type of business model that you intend building; you have the options of either choosing a limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a microbrewery business especially if just starting out with a moderate capital.

But people prefer Limited Liability Company for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact, if your intention is to start a standard brewery business, then choosing a Limited Liability Company is the best legal entity to build your business on.

It is a fact that the use of Limited Liability Company (LLCs) or corporations is highly valuable and an asset protection tool for those who want to own their business. For example, setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If a customer that patronized your product suffers an allergy attack from your beer, his lawyers can’t go after your property or properties.

It is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities. As a matter of fact, it is easier for attorneys to form a limited liability company with an affordable fee and within a short period of time.

  • Is Professional Certification to Needed to Start a Microbrewery?

From a general perspective, you might not have need for professional certification before you can successfully launch a brewery plant / microbrewery in the United States of America, Canada, and Australia and even in Europe.

But you would need to get some form of clearance from local health authority and foods and drugs agencies before you can be allowed to open and operate a brewery plant / microbrewery. This is so because the brewery business is considered as a delicate business; it involves what people consume.

If you’ve decided to brew beer for commercial purpose then you must first qualify with TTB by submitting a Brewer’s Notice application. You would also need to apply and obtain distillers and rectifiers permit, industrial permit, and general distribution permits et al.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Microbrewery Business

The legal requirements for starting a brewery business may vary slightly from country to country, states to states and even from cities to cities. So it is important to contact your local authority to know the legal requirements that you would need in order to successfully open your brewery plant in your country without stress.

These are some of the basic legal requirements needed before you can successfully start and run your own brewery plant / microbrewery in the United States of America;

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Foods and drinks handler certificate
  • Health inspection Certificate
  • Proof of district-issued food and drinks manager identification card
  • Depot, commissary or service support facility meets vending unit operation needs
  • Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Tax Payer’s ID
  • Fire certificate
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Employee’s Handbook
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Building License
  • Liquor License
  • Cabaret License
  • Franchise or Trademark License

The Best Insurance Needed for a MicroBrewery Business

When it comes to starting a coffee shop business there are key insurance policies that you must have in place same applies to any other industry you intend starting a business. It is important to note that you can’t be permitted to run a coffee shop business in the United States, in Canada, Australia and in Europe if you don’t have the basic insurance cover for your business; the food and drinks industry is a delicate business hence the need for the industry to be highly regulated.

These are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own coffee shop business in the United States of America and also in most parts of the world;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liquor Liability insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

Getting Intellectual Property Protection and Trademark for your Microbrewery

No doubt if you want to start a brewery business, then you should go all out to file for a trademark; you would not only need a trademark to protect your company’s brand / name, but also you would need a trademark to protect your various beer names. As matter of fact, once you have successfully chose a name for your beers and also designed your company’s logos, you need to file trademark for them as fast as you can.

The importance of have a trademark for this type of business cannot be overemphasis. This is so because the purpose of a trademark is to protect the goodwill that people will identify your products with. Trademark can aid you to develop a successful company’s brand and the value of your products or services in the market place.

So if you want to register your trademark, then you should begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

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