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When can I start my application process

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  • When can I start my application process

    Just starting out. I have yet to find a building. When is the earliest I can start the application process without having an address?


  • #2
    You need the address. Everything time consuming ties back to it. You could start your corporation or whatever legal entity type with your home address, but that's about it.


    • #3
      Okay I now have an address. Going over zoning with my town. It’s zoned properly but they still need to sign off in it. With sending letters to all the neighbors within 250’ and waiting the 30 days for the next meeting I’m looking 3 months out for town approval.

      Do I need to wait for town approval to start alloying for permits?

      Already talked to all the neighbors’s with no real concerns. Addressed waste water and solid waste as well as Parking.



      • #4
        I can only help you with California, so I'm not sure if this will be true where you are.

        Part of the California ABC process is what you suggest. There are forms that you need to submit where you list residences within so many feet of the property, state of there are churches or schools nearby, etc. California requires that you submit a "Zoning Information Letter," which involves going to your city planners office and obtaining a letter that states that the building is zoned to be whatever you plan to build. We also chose a building that was correctly zoned and we didn't have to perform major improvements to the space, so this process consisted of waiting in line for a few hours, paying the exorbitant fee and walking away with the letter in hand. I got the impression that they will not give me the letter if planning was in the process of being approved, etc. you may want to call your state ABC and ask if you can start the process while the city process is in progress.. There is no reason to wait on the federal TTB registration. They don't care about anything but the address in order to get started. They sometimes do an on-site inspection, though, so I would be prepared for that 2-3 months after you submit.

        California's ABC law was written in the 1930's and is not very specific. This seems to leave room for interpretation as to whether you get approved easily or need to do a drawn out process to get approval. There is no checklist that you can just tick off the boxes and come with everything in hand when you turn in the paperwork. For first timers, the process was stressful, time consuming and our opening has been delayed as a result (although we expect to have permit in hand this week or next.) In addition to being no checklist, there is also not a lot of information around what type of things disqualify you from getting approved. This caused us stress and inaction until we got pretty far along in the process. We didn't want to spend a lot of money on a brewery that couldn't open if we were not approved. We had no reason to think that we wouldn't get approved, but as first timers, the lack of information made us very cautious. Our year-long process might have been reduced to 8 or 9 months if we were less cautious and assumed that everything was going to get approved easily. We had an on-site California ABC inspection, and there is no documentation that states what to prepare for. I reread all the TTB requirements and made sure everything was in order, and our inspection didn't have any issues at all. I imagine there are services that you can pay and they will navigate these waters for you. I've since discovered these type of agents here in California and they seem to charge in the $3-5k range. That is a big expense for us, so we probably wouldn't have used an agent even if we knew they existed when we started. If there are breweries in your area that opened recently, I would recommend talking to them to understand the process they went through. Doing this was helpful to us, even though the hoops that each of us went through was different. Above all else, be courteous and pleasant when you talk to the city/state/federal people you interact with. It's easy to get pissed off and frustrated, but it serves you no good if you take it out on the people that control your destiny.

        If you have reason to believe that you may not get state approval or that roadblocks will be placed in front of you that will cause delays, you may want to take a cautious approach like we did. If you have a tight budget, you may have your hand forced, though. I would plan for the process to take double what you think it should take. Today is 7-1-19 and we started the process 7-13-18. We're 1-2 weeks from being able to brew.


        • #5
          Originally posted by esbq View Post
          I can only help you with California, so I'm not sure if this will be true where you are.

          Today is 7-1-19 and we started the process 7-13-18. We're 1-2 weeks from being able to brew.
          Thank you very much ESBQ

          I'm doing this solo. I am being very cautious since I’m bankrolling it all but do not want to sit around waiting while I could be making progress. Also don’t want to start sealing the floors. building a bar, and cold room before I have all my town approvals. Which by the way I was already told I can do nothing on my own. Everything must be built by a lic contractor even the bar.
          If this doesn’t work out for any reason I’m going to apply for another building. I see nothing right now that stands in my way besides time to satisfy the town.
          There are several breweries in town that are being very helpful. Unfortunately, in this town they do not make it easy to open. Every owner I talk to has had a diff flight to open. Timelines from 1 to 2 years with most of that time just getting town approvals. While in a neighboring town 2 new breweries just opened in less than 9 months. I’m having to do tons more just to apply for a zoning approval meeting than every town around me. While in fact the building and area I’m in is zoned the same as every other brewery in town. It is what it is, and I’ll continue to kill them with kindness and toss money at them for application fees and meetings.