In addition to our Beer & Spirits practice, Stark & Stark represents vineyard and winery owners in all aspects of law across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our Winery law attorneys understand the myriad complex legal and regulatory hurdles facing the wine industry, and we are dedicated to our clients’ growth in success in their industry.
Vineyard and Winery Legal Services
Our team of attorneys offers our winery clients a full range of services tailored to meet their unique needs, which includes but is not limited to:
- Entity Formation
- Trademark/Intellectual Property
- Land Use/Zoning/Environmental
- Farmland Assessment
- Right to Farm Act
- Vendor & Purchasing Agreements
- Employee Management
Starting a new business venture can be daunting, and our corporate business attorneys understand this. We can provide you with a straightforward approach that is tailored to your specific vision and needs for your business. We can assist you with forming a new business, reorganizing your existing business, or advising you in regards to the proper entity structure for your objectives.
Our Winery lawyers will also work with you to develop a comprehensive management structure for your business that will detail the specific duties each owner and partner will be responsible for fulfilling.
Some wineries can take advantage of tax incentives pursuant to the New Jersey Farmland Assessment Act, which provides for lower property tax assessments based on the productivity of farmland. Our experienced attorneys can assist winery owners with the stringent farmland assessment application process and provide expert guidance to ensure compliance with the Act’s requirements in order to preserve the tax benefits to the winery.
Right to Farm Act
Certain wineries conduct activities that are qualified as commercial farm activities protected by the New Jersey Right to Farm Act. The Right to Farm Act provides protection to farmers from nuisance lawsuits and overly restrictive local regulations. The Act provides alternative avenues for dispute resolution through the County Agriculture Development Board. The operation of a winery can be significantly adversely impacted by nuisance lawsuits and burdensome municipal regulations, and the winery can be protected by following the procedures under the Right to Farm Act. Proper planning by the winery can provide significant protections under the Act. Our attorneys can assist with the verifying a winery’s eligibility for protection under the Act and securing the protections it affords for winery owners. In addition, when a dispute arises, our attorneys can assist with the alternative dispute resolution process available through the Right to Farm Act.
Your business’ brand identity is of great importance to you, and it is of great importance to us as well. Our intellectual property attorneys work with our clients regarding any trademark issues they may have in relation to their company’s formation, including trade secrets, recipes, packaging, and branding.
Our attorneys can help you identify, establish, and protect your business from potential trademark and intellectual property rights violations.
Stark & Stark’s zoning and real estate practices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are well prepared to advise you regarding the land use and zoning regulations you will need to comply with on the state and municipal level. Our attorneys regularly appear before planning and zoning boards throughout both states, and will assist you in meeting the compliance regulations you need when establishing your winery.
The winery industry is a heavily regulated industry, which in turn requires experience and knowledge when navigating the licensing requirements involved for a new business. Our Winery group can assist you in preparing, certifying, and filing the necessary documentation for obtaining various licenses, including but not limited to plenary winery, farm winery, wine blending, cidery and meadery, or sales outlet licenses.
Vendor and Purchasing Agreements
Once established, your winery will most likely need to work with various vendors to obtain the supplies and equipment you need, or to sell your products and merchandise. Stark & Stark’s business lawyers can help you negotiate vendor and purchasing agreements that will get your products out on the market and in stores. We can also work with you and negotiate agreements with your suppliers that will get you the necessary raw materials you need to manufacture your product.
With your new winery business, you may find that you will need third-party financing to get your business up off the ground. Stark & Stark’s financing attorneys can assist borrowers with evaluating the various financing scenarios available. We can also provide assistance with any loan transactions that may be necessary in order to build, acquire, or retrofit a commercial property.
Stark & Stark’s Employment practice will work with you to ensure that employment policies and procedures are properly in place and communicated to employees, to establish a safe and productive working environment.
For more information regarding the winery, brewery, and distillery industries, you can read our latest blog posts for New Jersey here and Pennsylvania here.