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.While the process itself is relatively straight-forward, it does involve what is, essentially, a full background check to insure that the applicant (and his/her family, company, and investors) is a fine, upstanding citizen.
“Logistical” legal objectives would include tasks that could also apply to several other types of businesses -- things like starting your own corporate entity dedicated to the future distillery, drafting various business forms and employee contracts with enforceable non-compete clauses, registering your trademarks with the federal trademark office, and complying with corporate formalities of your state.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?It is important for the business owner to maintain open channels of communication with the authorities in order to anticipate and proactively resolve local issues before they truly become a problem.Q: Are there any other legal questions that haven’t been addressed above? For example, if you are planning on raising capital from investors, then it is -- critically -- important to comply with the applicable State and Federal Securities Laws.A: Based on my own research, I would recommend a minimum preliminary budget of 0,000 - 0,000, which includes projections for hiring a minimum number of employees, renting premises, spending money on inventory and product development, and purchasing operational equipment, as well as covering various permit application fees and legal fees as a result of dealing with federal, state, and local officials.Q: What legal objectives must be achieved in the course of opening a distillery?When we started this conference and expo, there were only 500 craft distilleries. How do you differentiate your product from every other craft producer?How do you find a distributor that is not beholden to the big brands? For 0,000 you can get up and running with a still, a building, and a license. If you want to make whiskey or any aging products you need millions of dollars to make it on a scale that is sustainable because you need to carry an inventory for years which takes buildings, cash flow aging warehouses and marketing dollars for product you can’t sell for 3-5 years.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.