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Establishing a Successful Wine Business

The wine industry is an exciting and fast-moving industry, but starting in the industry without sufficient planning and appropriate advice can be detrimental to the wine entrepreneur no matter how great the wine is.

Some items to consider when setting up a wine business include:

  • Business Structure – what structure (sole-trader, trust, company) is appropriate to accommodate the needs of the business? The structure should consider asset protection, tax effectiveness and cost of administration amongst other factors and no structure is perfect for all situations.
  • Registrations – to be able to trade, a wine business will be required to register for a tax file number (TFN) and Australian Business Number (ABN) and will need to consider registering for GST, Fuel Tax Credits, Wine Equalisation Tax (WET), Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and PAYG Withholding.
  • WET Producer Rebate – support for the industry is provided through the WET producer rebate but it is important to ensure criteria are met to ensure eligibility. The rebate can provide a wine business with up to $350,000 per year on eligible dealings of wine.
  • Trademarking – an important tool in protecting the IP of the wine business, and ordinarily required to access the WET Producer Rebate.
  • Licensing – depending on the nature of the wine business, various licenses are required. These may include a liquor production and sales licence and wine export licence.
  • Insurances – in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, it is critical to have the appropriate level of insurance cover. Insurance can be taken out to cover public and product liability, property and business interruption.
  • Record keeping and cash flow – selecting the right accounting software package is vital to maintain clear and concise records, to track annual vintage stock levels and to be able to regularly monitor business performance in addition to meeting compliance obligations. The accounting for wine production and sale is not simple, and so selecting the appropriate package in the early stages of business will provide better support as the business grows.

How can Nexia Edwards Marshall NT help you?

Vital with all parts of starting a business, is obtaining appropriate advice so your business has a solid foundation to grow from.

If you are contemplating starting a new wine business Sarah McEachern would be happy to assist with the above to ensure a great start before the first vintage is complete.

The material contained in this publication is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice or recommendation from Nexia Edwards Marshall NT. Regarding any situation or circumstance, specific professional advice should be sought on any particular matter by contacting your Nexia Edwards Marshall NT Adviser.

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