Starting a Colorado Brewery? Colorado is one of the top states in the U.S. to start a brewery or brewpub. According to the Brewers Association, Colorado ranks #3 in Total Craft Breweries behind California and Washington and #5 in Craft Breweries Per Capita.
Below, our Colorado beverage lawyers identify the most important general issues to consider when first deciding upon a Colorado brewery startup.
1. Choose the right business structure.
This might be an obvious statement but a brewery is a business – and what corporate form you choose is an important decision for your business. Whether a Colorado limited liability company (LLC), Colorado Corporation (C-Corp), or S-Corp is the right form will depend on many factors specific to your business. Considerations such as “who are my investors” and “how do I want to run my Colorado brewery” will determine what company form is appropriate for your brewery.
2. Contracts and Agreements.
Starting a Colorado Brewery is exciting – and of course you want to get things moving quickly. Our Colorado Beverage lawyers often see people entering into agreements and contracts before they’ve set up a company. This is dangerous because personal assets may be exposed where there is no corporate form in place. Further, before you can apply for your liquor licenses and permits, you’ll need an executed lease and possession of brewing equipment. Property leases are expensive and are a tremendous commitment – they require significant negotiation and tailoring to your brewery’s specific needs.
3. Liquor Permitting and Licensing
Your new Colorado brewery cannot apply for federal (TTB) or Colorado State permits and licenses unless you are an official company. Further, you’ll need to provide details about the company and its investors. For example, if you’re a Colorado LLC, the TTB and Colorado Department of Revenue will require a copy of your fully executed Operating Agreement – among other things.
Colorado Beverage Lawyers of LaszloLaw
While the above items are of utmost importance while forming your Colorado brewery, they can all be accomplished with adequate planning. Our Colorado beverage lawyers assist startup Colorado breweries by addressing their needs throughout the startup process and continuing to provide guidance as they grow. Contact the Colorado beverage lawyers at LaszloLaw today to discuss your breweries needs.