Craft Distillery Business Plan

Craft Distillery Business Plan-8
Tasting rooms are an expensive part of the build-out but can account for a large part of overall profits later-on.

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Founder Kellie Shevlin says she takes the “romance” out of the distillery business, which is saying something since every liquor bottle seems to have a backstory these days.

“I make sure that people who want to start a distillery have a good business plan and the capital they need to get to market,” Shevlin says.

Q: How long does it take to get from having a business plan for the "craft" distillery to actually producing and selling alcohol?

A: Expect the entire process to take at least 18-24 months.

I hope the above article does not deter you from your business ventures.

Just remember, making your own liquor is Serious Business, and Serious Business often requires Serious Planning -- which, in this case, should most definitely include retaining an attorney!A: States have administrative and criminal penalties for manufacturing and/or selling liquor without a license.For example, New Mexico law, NMSA 1978, section 60-7A-7, makes it a felony offense “for any person other than a licensed distiller or rectifier to manufacture any spirituous liquors…” Thus, it is critical to obtain the appropriate state license in addition to obtaining the federal permit.Experts say standing out is only part of the equation for a successful distillery.Understanding the regulations and distribution system are paramount to success in the spirits business.While waiting times and complexity of the process vary by state, to be safe, plan for at least a 6-month waiting period after the state process has been initiated before the state permit is granted.Q: What legal objectives must be achieved at the local level?A: Before your distillery is legal, it is necessary to achieve a variety of objectives at the federal level, including 1) successfully filing for a federal distiller’s permit, 2) successfully filing for trademark protection, and 3) successfully filing for approval of all original products (for public safety reasons).More than likely, the application process for a distiller’s permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) will prove to be your most involved and time consuming objective.I would recommend leasing or purchasing premises prior to initiating the federal application process.Q: What legal objectives must be achieved at the state level?


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