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.

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.

Ajaero Tony Martins