Serious About Wine? Here’s What to Consider When Starting Your Own Label

Updated: 2 days ago

If you’re an avid lover of wine, then you may have toyed with the idea of starting your very own label once or twice. After all, now is an interesting time to get into the business, with people treating themselves to more wine while in lockdown. But a deep love for Cabernet isn’t the only thing you need to start a business — you need to be determined, hard-working, and meticulous in order to succeed. If you think you have what it takes, then read on:

First thing’s first

Before you start investing, it’s important to start with a name and some idea of how you want your business to operate. You wouldn’t want to go all-in with a name that’s already been taken, so check with your Secretary of State’s office. Try searching on social media to see if your potential name is available, too.

From there, you can start writing up a business plan. It’s not the most exciting part of the process, but it is an integral one, as you’ll be using this plan for the entire time you will be operating. It should outline what your company aims to be, what your products are, how your business is organized and managed, as well as what projections you have for finances — all supported by research about the industry and your competitors.

Compliance and paperwork

Once you’ve got your name and business plan ironed out, it’s time to start thinking about legal requirements. If you are registering a limited liability company, then you’ll need to choose a registered agent, draft up a certificate of formation, and an operating agreement to start. Most states allow entrepreneurs to submit all these online, via mail, or in person, but fees will depend on your state, so be sure to inquire with your Secretary of State’s office, too.

Next up are licensing and permits. The winemaking industry is heavily regulated, and you’ll need to apply for a permit to operate a winery, register with the FDA, and have your company approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It’s a lot to think about, so it’s best to consult with a lawyer to avoid making any mistakes on compliance.