Wine Importers and Exporters Basics / Business Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

It is a very exciting time to be involved with wine importers and exporters, as the industry is branching off in new, profitable ...

It is a very exciting time to be involved with wine importers and exporters, as the industry is branching off in new, profitable directions.  Before you start, make sure you know the wine importers and exporters basics that are essential to the success of your business.

There are three main facets to the wine industry: wine importers, wine exporters and wine makers. Each segment has unique issues to be aware of, as well as some in common:

1. A proper license is required no matter where your wine import business is based. There are many options and levels of licensing, depending on whether you are a wine importer, exporter, or wine maker.

2. Your specific state and country have strict legal requirements for wine import companies. You can hire professional help, or read up on the regulations yourself to make sure you conform.

3. Stay tuned to market trends in wine imports and exports. Retailer's demand for wine will heavily affect the need for importing wine, exporting wine and wine making.

Research licensing options for US wine distributors

There are many different ways to acquire sufficient licensing. First you need to know which license you need for where your wine export or import business is located.
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. This is the site for California. They have a "license query system" that allows you to find out the exact information you need. Each state has its own website. Also look up your city's business license office. Each US city has its own website, as in this one for San Francisco.

Learn wine importing business laws

US wine importers have an especially difficult task staying within legal boundaries. Find capable legal help, or if you feel confident, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for your wine importing business.
Alcohol Beverage Control Board's website. This is an essential resource to starting an import export wine business. You should also review your state's laws online, like California's department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Make friends with other US wine distributors

Keeping contact with other wine-related businesses is essential, as it keeps you informed, and may create more selling or buying opportunities.
  • To avoid start-up licensing hassles, consider buying a property that was previously used as a wine import business.

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