How to Start a Distillery: The Step-By-Step Guide

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |how to start a distillery |How to Start a Distillery: The Step-By-Step GuideEntrepreneurs come in many different shapes, sizes, and interests. They all have different passions that they’re looking to pursue.

That’s good! It’s what makes the corporate world go round. If they won’t provide a certain service to customers, who will?

One of the business ventures you might be interested in is starting a distillery. It gives you a company that you can pour (pun intended) your heart and soul into to receive a substantial profit.

There are however certain guidelines that every potential distiller should follow. Here are some pointers on how to start a distillery that can grow for years to come.

1. Create a Business Plan

No successful business ever started without a business plan in place. Granted, some of them may not be super elaborate, but you don’t want to follow that trend. The more detail, the better!

There are certain factors you’ll want to perform heavy research on for your business plans. These are things such as the costs for your startup, production process, when can you break even, the name of your business, and what you’ll distill to name a few.

What does your target customer look like? How much will you charge them for your liquor? What return do you expect to see?

Assuming you don’t have thousands of dollars laying around, you’ll want to seek a funding group to help with your startup. Having an organized and strategic plan in place goes a long way with them.

2. Establish an Entity and Register for Taxes

Now that you’re a legitimate business, you need to get everything in place with federal business requirements.
That means forming a legal entity for your company and registering for your state and federal taxes.

For forming a legal entity, you can choose from such structures as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Doing Business As (DBA). Either will help protect your personal assets if the business gets sued.

As you’re registering for your state and federal taxes, be sure to apply for and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

3. Start Considering Your Equipment

It’s never too early to start planning and budgeting for the equipment you’ll need to properly distill your liquor.
Such equipment includes water supply, a mill, cooker, still, transfer hoses, receiving tank, and fermenters. All of that can add up quickly and should be purchased in waves leading up to opening up your distillery.

However, the sooner you save up for it and purchase it, the sooner that you can start with your distilling process. Thus, the sooner you can start making a profit off of your liquor!

4. Open a Business Account with the Bank

One mistake that many people make when starting a business is not separating their personal bank account from their business bank account.

Not doing so can risk all of your personal funding and assets that you’ve accrued. Be sure to set up a business account to protect them.

Heaven forbid if you were to get sued, and you didn’t have a business account, things such as your house, checking account, jewelry, car, or retirement savings could be at risk.

While you’re doing that, be sure to request a business credit card so that you can control the expenses and pay them off in one single place.

5. Attend Distilling Workshops

While you or your business partner might be exceptionally knowledgeable on distilling, there will always be more to learn. It’s good for you and your business to educate yourself.

Because of that, you should attend a distilling workshop or two to see what you can learn about the process.
This will also help you build a network of knowledgeable distillers with years of experience under their belt.

They’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction and help out in any way that they can. Who knows? Maybe your distillery will hire them one day!

While the classes might be a bit pricey, they’re well worth the investment. You’ll receive new ways of thinking that you can reiterate to all of your business partners.

6. Get All Permits/Licenses Taken Care of

Your distillery isn’t a legal business until you’ve properly acquired all licenses and permits required by your state. Be sure to find out what your specific state requires and seek them out.

The two mainstays among all states are a proper liquor license and a certificate of occupancy for your business.
Be sure to look up what role each of them plays in your distillery and how you can correctly go about obtaining them.

7. Invest in Insurance for Your Distillery

There are two types of coverage that you’ll need in your distillery insurance: property coverage and liability coverage.

Property coverage is exactly what the name would imply. It protects all incidents that might happen with the property your distillery conducts its business on.

Such things as fires, faulty parts, or even flooding can be a major catastrophe that results in your company going out of business. You may lose your entire distillery before it even gets up and running.

Property coverage is made to protect things such as the products you’ve made, the machinery you use, and the building that you use.

Liability coverage, on the other hand, protects you from the actions of their users. For example, if someone gets drunk on your premises and then is involved in a drunk driving accident, you’ll be protected.

As you can see, distillery insurance is vitally important. Learn more here for more details on this subject.

How to Start a Distillery: Set It up for Success!

As you can see, there’s a lot of factors on how to start a distillery initially, but they’re all vitally important.
Once you get them all out of the way, you’ll be reeling in a profit in no time!

Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics just like it.

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