Choosing your business location, whether as a startup brewery, brew pub or distillery, or to relocate an existing business, is a critical determination. There are many considerations, both business and legal, that must be weighed in making this decision. From a business perspective, the issues include whether the premises has adequate space for both present and future operations; are the utility systems (electrical and plumbing) adequate to handle operations and waste disposal; and is there adequate office space and storage space? If you plan on having a bar, tasting room or conducting tours on the premises, factors such as dining space, kitchen space, parking and major highway access will also be significant in your decision.
In addition to the business considerations of where to locate your brewery, brew pub or distillery, there are many legal considerations that must taken into account, including land use and zoning requirements for parking; legality of the commercial venture on the premises; loading and unloading; and compatibility with local waste management systems.
There are also factors for acquiring the premises. If the space will be leased, the third party landlord must be amenable to the nature of the business operations. Additionally, the landlord may require a long term lease. Will a long term lease be compatible with your vision and growth? Do you have the ability to exit the lease if your business needs change before the expiration of the lease term? Do you have the ability to extend your lease under favorable terms?
These factors merely highlight the myriad of issues that breweries, brew pubs and distilleries face when selecting a premises to run its operations. Due to the importance of these issues, counsel should be consulted before major decisions are made.
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