Parts I and II talked about a lot of paperwork. I wanted to end our series with a summary of all the paperwork and a few additional costs you may not have thought about (I know I didn’t).
First step, register your business. I chose to register as an LLC. Just register the business, do not apply for any endorsements yet (microbrewery endorsement).
Next, apply for your Brewer’s Notice with the TTB. This will take at least 50 days.
Once that is completed, you can apply for your liquor/microbrewery license. As I am in Washington State, I applied through the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). This will take about 2 weeks. Once that gets approved, and before they finalize it, you will have to schedule a meeting with your Liquor Rep to go over the laws and regulations and to check your equipment set up. This was a quick and easy process.
Once you get this finalized and approved you are good to go and can start selling your beer.
If you haven’t gotten this already, make sure you apply to get your Reseller’s Permit. You will want to get this. All the ingredients you buy, you won’t have to pay the taxes on it at the store you buy it from. Also, when you sell your beer in kegs to a restaurant, you won’t have to charge them tax either. But, make sure they have that reseller’s permit. A good tip is to ask for a picture of their permit for you to keep on file as well.
Now before you go making some beer and getting ready to sell it. Make sure you have a taphandle to give them. These can be expensive ($30-50). Plan accordingly and make sure you have one to give the restaurant you sold your beer to.
One of the most important things you will need to do is to stay organized. You will have a lot of different paperwork and license to keep track of and renew every year. You will also have to report how much beer you made to the State every single month. You also have taxes to manage and your own bookkeeping. Do not procrastinate on this and do not get disorganized. Take the time now to keep everything in order and it will spare you a headache and hours of your life down the road.
I hope this three part series helped you out a little and encouraged you to start making your own beer. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me and I’d be glad to help in any way I can.
Stay tuned for our next series, which will be on-going, called “Our Story.” We will provide updates twice a month with where we are at, any struggles or wins we may have encountered and how our process of starting a brewery is going. We hope you are excited to follow along with us on our journey as we grow to share great tasting beer with you.