The Stark & Stark Beer & Spirits practice, one of the only practices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with a team dedicated to the needs of the craft beer and artisan spirits industry, takes great pride in helping clients strategically approach how they start, grow and expand their beer and spirits businesses. Our business attorneys assist clients through all stages of business formation, management and growth in this highly regulated industry and ensure clients remain compliant with the most recent governmental rules and regulations and help them to legally protect their intellectual property and trade secrets.
Beer & Spirits Legal Services
The brewing and distilling of craft beer, wine and liquors is a rapidly growing industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and we have assembled a team of alcohol attorneys to help guide you through the intricate process of forming and growing your business. Our services include, but are not limited to:
- Entity Formation
- Trademark/Intellectual Property
- Land Use/Zoning/Environmental
- Vendor & Purchasing Agreements
- Lease Negotiation
- Employee Management
All business ventures begin with an idea and Stark & Stark’s corporate business lawyers provide clients with a straightforward approach, allowing you to turn your concept into reality. Whether creating a business from scratch, or reorganizing one already established, we help direct clients to the proper entity structure for their business objectives. By first developing a comprehensive management structure for your business, we work with you to detail the specific duties each company owner and partner will be responsible for fulfilling, lessening the likelihood that disputes will arise after you become operational and begin generating a profit.
Your trade secrets, recipes, packaging and branding are the core of your company’s identity and protecting that identity is a critical component to your success. Our intellectual property lawyers work with our clients to address trademark issues in connection with their company formation. Our team of seasoned litigators helps clients identify, establish, and protect their business from potential violations of their trademark and intellectual property rights, making sure that your brand and creativity safely flourish within the context of your overall business goals and strategies.
When establishing a brewery, brew pub or distillery, you will need to comply with state and municipal land use and zoning regulations, including Federal and State environmental protection laws. Knowledge of state, county and municipal land use and zoning regulations is critical when guiding our clients through land use and zoning approvals. Our real estate practices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania regularly appear before planning and zoning boards throughout both states and are well prepared to advise and advocate for our clients relating to any land use, zoning and environmental issue that may arise.
Stark & Stark has attorneys dedicated to New Jersey and Pennsylvania Environmental law available to assist clients in complying with the labyrinth of governmental regulations, including energy and water consumption, wastewater, solid waste and air emissions.
The highly regulated distilling and brewing industry requires experience navigating the various licensing requirements in order to minimize the delay between your business formation and your first sale. We are adept at guiding clients through the brewing, distilling and distribution licensing process in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you are seeking a plenary brewery, limited brewery, restricted brewery, plenary distillery, limited distillery, supplementary limited distillery, rectifier, blender or retail license, our team can assist in preparing, certifying and filing the necessary documentation and, if necessary, challenging any license denials, suspensions or revocations.
Vendor and Purchasing Agreements
Distilleries and breweries work with other vendors to obtain business supplies and equipment, or to sell their product and merchandise. As a major component to your business’ growth, Stark & Stark can help negotiate vendor and purchasing agreements that will get your product on the store shelf. Also of importance are the negotiated agreements that secure the steady and continuous supply of the necessary raw materials to your manufacturing facility.
With the increased cost of raw materials and growing competition, many brewers and distillers choose to lease business equipment in order to reduce initial start-up costs and help grow a business without the large out of pocket capital expenses. Additionally, more and more owners are increasingly leasing retail, production or distribution space for their brewing and distilling businesses. While leasing may increase productivity in the short term, poorly written or ambiguous lease agreements can lead to misunderstandings and costly disputes down the road. Stark & Stark can draft, review and negotiate lease agreements that protect our client’s interests by addressing potential lease landmines.
When starting a new business, many owners require third-party financing to help get their businesses off the ground. Stark & Stark assists borrowers with evaluating the various financing scenarios available to them and advising on loan transactions associated with building, acquiring, or retrofitting a commercial property.
From hiring and managing brew masters, master distillers and other levels of employees; to litigating on behalf of employers in workplace disputes, our clients rely on us to ensure their breweries or distilleries are productive, safe and successful working environments. We work with employers to craft, review and update employment handbooks to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements and help to secure and protect the core assets of your business through work for hire, employment and confidentiality agreements.
You can read our latest blog posts related to the beer & spirits industry for New Jersey here and Pennsylvania here. You can also stay up to date with developments in the beer & spirits industry by subscribing to our e-newsletter here.