Brewery Start-up Series: Checklist for Planning a Brewery #3 (Choosing a Brewery Business Structure)

Our last Brewery Start-up Series posts (here and here) have covered aspects of brewery business planning and putting together a Brewery Operating Agreement. This time, we’re discussing brewery entity selection. In other words, what formal business structure should your brewery choose?

Choosing a Brewery Business Structure

Like most matters during the start-up process, your decision on the brewery business structure will be specific to your brewery and its owners. There is an abundance of helpful information out there directly on this topic. And, this is a good opportunity to note a couple of resources every brewery owner will want to familiarize herself or himself with. First, it’s worth bookmarking the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website, which provides an abundance of information to business owners, including information on loan programs you might find helpful. Next, and even more importantly, whenever facing decisions with tax implications, it’s advisable to find a tax advisor who can help steer your brewery business through tax obstacles and into brewery-specific tax savings in the future. Indeed, no matter how much DIY work and research the brewery start-up team conducts on its own, it’s helpful to have an experienced brewery attorney and brewery-savvy CPA on your side early in the process, so you can shoot over quick questions and get trusted answers whenever issues do come up.

Speaking very generally on the topic of brewery entity selection, we’ll note that for many of the sorts of brewery start-ups we’re seeing these days, the flexibility and tax framework of the LLC fits the bill, and forming an LLC for the brewery is a lot easier than you might think. In fact, we typically direct our clients to the proper online steps to officially create the business entity to get the beverage business formally rolling. Those documents are ones you can handle yourself, quite quickly, which translates to cost savings for the brewery start-up, which we’re always mindful about. However, we’re always here to help as you bump into questions throughout the process.

Next time, the Brewery Start-up Series will be covering another aspect of business planning, drafting the actual Business Plan. You might have formed a skeleton of a plan or run some basic numbers before deciding to open a business, but many entrepreneurs lead with their hearts and haven’t necessarily cranked numbers or put pen to paper about all of the details that will not only make the business profitable but poised to grow in the direction the brewery founders want.

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