Craft Beer and the Necessary Legalese

Craft Beer and the Necessary Legalese

You brewed successful batches of craft beer to the rave reviews of family and friends. Time to reach a wider audience!  To help your dream business off the ground, there is some legal tape to get through. Below are just a few of the paperwork you’ll need to get through to be established.

Title and Trademark

Once you have landed on a brand name, it is important to apply for a trademark under that proposed title; a trademark serves to identify and protect your brand from other existing companies and can extend beyond your name to your logo(s), taglines, and label designs. You must apply through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, where your submission can be reviewed against a robust database of established businesses. If cleared of any conflicts regarding your business name and proposed trademark, you may proceed with your new slate as a marketable brand.

National and State-Recognized Licenses

Once you have chosen an operational base for your brewpub, a brewery license is required through the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau. Your brewery site, applicable owners/business entities, as well as recipes and label declarations will all undergo inspections and are subject to approval. Similarly, applicable documentation from the state level, such as a TABC license, must also be issued before your brewery operation can go further. Whether you are brewing and self-distributing, or brewing and hosting pub fare on the premises, specific licenses for your individual business plan must be obtained.

Commercial Lease

As a fledgling brewery, the fine print on your leasing contract may require heavy consideration. “Gross” and “triple net” lease agreements come with their own legalese; as a tenant, be mindful of rent pricing, maintenance expectations and responsibilities, brewery insurance, and any shared taxes. If you haven’t hired one already, a business attorney can help you to navigate these negotiations to ensure you have a valuable contract that best suits your needs and growth expectations. 

The legalese may feel daunting, but making it through the other end of the government pipeline will help you to realize your dream career.


Category Featured

Multimag Comments

We love comments
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Only registered users can comment.