Do you want to know the legal requirements you need to starting a bottled water company? If YES, here is a checklist of bottled water plant licenses, permits & insurance.

Having provided you with a:

  1. Bottled water Industry Overview
  2. Market Research and Feasibility
  3. Bottled Water Name ideas
  4. Bottled Water Business Plan
  5. Bottled Water Licenses and Permits
  6. Bottle Water Marketing Plan
  7. Cost of Starting a Bottled Water Plant
  8. Bottled Water Marketing ideas

Starting a Bottle Water Plant – Licenses, Permits & Insurance

  • Best Legal Entity to Use for a Bottled Water Company

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, a “C” corporation, or an “S” corporation.

It is important to clearly state that these different forms of legal structure for business has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is why you must weigh your options properly before making your choice on the legal structure to build your bottled water production company on.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your bottled water production company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and tax issues. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your hedge fund firm, then you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable.

You can start your bottled water plant as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or a ‘S’ corporations especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your bottled water production business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.

For example, setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If a customer that patronized your water suffers an allergy attack from drinking your water, 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.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Bottled Water Plant?

There are various certification courses that exist, it is however important that you find that which tallies with the bottle water production company. Before you can be permitted to operate a bottled water production company both in the United States of America and in other parts of the world (developed world most especially), you are expected to apply and obtain certain certification or permits as the case may be.

You are supposed to get clean health certificate, you are expected to have undergone water purification and bottling training as well as obtain food handler certificate.

You can also check up with your state or city to know if you will require a professional certification before you can be licensed to run your own bottled water production business. But you can be rest assured that the industry is highly regulated and you are expected to meet the required standard as stipulated by the regulating establishment bit at local and national levels.

List of Legal Documents Needed to Run a Bottled Water Production Business

The requirements for running a bottled water production company vary widely from country to country, states to states and from cities to cities.

For instance, in Toronto, Canada, some of the requirements for bottled water production business include business and liability insurance, a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for the truck, a food and drinks handler certificate, appropriate driver’s licenses for distribution drivers, assistant’s licenses for assistants, and a health inspection. Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license et al.

These are some of the basic legal requirements needed before you can successfully start and run your own bottled water production business in the United States of America:

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for distribution truck
  • Food and drinks handler certificate
  • Appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers
  • Assistant’s licenses for assistants
  • Health inspection Certificate
  • Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license
  • 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
  • Plant insurance
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Employee’s Handbook
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs

The Preferred Insurance Policies for Bottled Water Production Business

Just like any other business, there are key insurance policies that you must have in place if you chose to start a bottled water production company in the United States of America. Besides you can’t be permitted to run a bottled water production business in the United States, in Canada, Australia and in Europe if you don’t have the basic insurance cover for your business.

These are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own bottled water production business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Motor Vehicle Insurance (Comprehensive)

How to Obtain License and Permit for your Bottled Water Company

1. Submit your license application

Your first step is to obtain a water bottling company license application form from the appropriate local agency. You will typically be required to pay a fee for the application form. After obtaining the form, you must complete it duly and submit it. Here are some guidelines for completing the application form:

  • Include the name of your bottled water company.
  • The business address must be that of your water bottling plant, not that of the office or corporate headquarters.
  • The mailing address can be that of the plant, the head office, or a branch office. Ensure that the mailing address is correct so that you will be able to receive your license and renewal notices.
  • Provide proper telephone numbers to expedite scheduling of inspection appointments.
  • You will most likely be required to state your water sources. Only water from a licensed private water source or public drinking supply can be processed for bottling at your plant. An unlicensed well or spring—regardless of whether you own it or not and regardless of whether it is proximal to your plant or not—cannot be used as a source.
  • If your source is a public drinking supply, you should give the contact details of the water source and obtain a copy of the most recent chemical, microbiological, and physical analysis of the water as conducted by the appropriate inspection agency.
  • If your source is a licensed private water source, state the contact information as well as the operator’s name, phone number, and license number. Also, include a copy of the purchase contract.

However, you must bear in mind that your application will be rejected if it is incomplete or illegible. Note, too, that license fees are non-refundable even if your application for a license is declined. And should the ownership or location of your water bottling plant change in the future, a new application must be submitted because water bottling company licenses are usually non-transferrable to new owners or locations.

Your license application may also be declined if your plant is located in an area that is not zoned for a water bottling plant (unless you get a variance or conditional use permit). To get licensed even when your plant isn’t in a zoned location, you must present your case to your city’s planning commission and get a variance. You will most likely be granted a variance if you can prove that your business won’t disrupt the character of the neighborhood around your plant.

2. Have your plant inspected for:

  • Source water quality
  • Product water quality (chemical, bacteriological, and radiological quality of the water)
  • Bottling operation

3. Obtain other licenses and permits like:

  • A DBA license (if you will be operating the business using a fictitious business name).
  • A tax ID number (Employee Identification Number) — since you will be hiring employees to work for you.

Getting Intellectual Property Protection for your Bottled Water Plant

On the average, bottled water production businesses does not require intellectual property protections. This is so because of the nature of the products produced in the industry; clean and portable bottled water is same in any part of the world.

The only case where a bottled water production company can seek for intellectual property protection is when they have a unique recipe in the case of water flavored and they want to monopolize it. It is rare though, but bottled water production business owners can file for intellectual property protection when they want to protect their brand name and logo et al.