Keep these legal matters in mind as you plan to grow your craft beverage business

No matter when, where, or how you started your craft beverage business, you’ve made gains and realized that you’re ready to scale up your startup brewery, winery, distillery in Oregon. Strategizing your growth isn’t just a matter of production. Legal considerations come into play that could affect your plans, profits, and future strategy.

As you review your business plan, talk with your key players, and consider what a scaled-up operation might look like, keep these legal factors in mind too.

Does your current square footage, lease, and/or zoning allow you to expand?

Whether you rent your property or own it, changing up your current facility also means reviewing the laws and documents relevant to your property.

For example, if you plan to increase your production capacity, does your current square footage accommodate more equipment? If leasing, will your landlord be on board with increased demand on utilities and space? Or, if you are looking into adding a tasting room, restaurant, or other public space, will your zoning and parking fit, or will you need to make changes?

Sometimes scaling means moving on from your current base of operations. If the time is right to lease or buy a different property, it’s also time to talk with your attorney about reviewing the laws and regulations you’ll need to follow with current or new commercial real estate.

What new geographic, industry, and/or regulatory considerations will you have to take into account?

How a craft beverage business scales can take many forms. Growth could include increasing production, expanding into a neighboring state, or opening one or more satellite locations in another community. It could also mean adding new types of beverages to your line-up, such as non-alcoholic beverages, CBD infusions, hard seltzers, or canned cocktails.

Changing your production and product lines can also mean taking into account new regulations. Different states and communities have their own laws and regulations. New product lines can require understanding new labeling or testing requirements.

As you explore how to change up your operation’s footprint, locations, and/or product lines, your Oregon craft beverage attorney can advise on what you and your management team will need to keep in mind to comply with the law and your industry’s regulations.

Will scaling/growing change how your business is categorized, regulated, and/or taxed?

Changes in production levels don’t just mean additional costs or sales. They can also change how your brewery is categorized, regulated, and/or taxed.

When you run the numbers on how your craft beverage business might increase production, check with your attorney, tax, and financial professionals on potential ramifications.

How will growth change your distribution model and your current distributor relationships?

It’s one thing to primarily sell over your own counter or with a few partners that you or a staff member can personally visit on a regular basis. It’s another to work with a third-party distributor. Plus, as you change up your production, you and your distributor will be setting or changing your relationship in different ways. Each of you will be setting new goals and expectations.

What do you need to watch out for to make sure you are getting the right deal with your distribution partners? How might you need to change up your packaging technology or personnel? As you scale your production and distribution, your craft beverage lawyer can be by your side to identify not only potential pitfalls, but opportunities.

Your craft beverage attorney is your partner as you grow and scale in Oregon

As you know, nothing in the craft beverage industry happens quickly. Solid planning and teamwork are essential to setting up your business for success at any stage, but all the more so when you shift gears into strategic growth and upscaling.egon

Fortunately, that teamwork you rely on follows you as you grow. And Megan is ready to help you ramp up your craft beverage operation today.