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Caudill Distillery

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Currently filling out my TTB permit application. I am stuck on the "Trade Names and Operating Name section. It is my understanding that since the name of my business "Example Distillery" (sole proprietor), it would be the same for Trade name and Operating name"... The application will not accept my input. Any help would be appreciated...

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Select "Add a Row" for each trade name you wish to use. Each trade name must be appropriately registered. Click here for general trade name rules. NOTE: You may only select one Operating Name(DBA).
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--Select--Bottling on Account ForLabeling Trade NameOperating Name (DBA)  
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Who will you be Bottling on Account For?:
If it is a "Bottling on Account For" name, please provide the name and permit number or registry number (if available) of the company for which you are bottling. You will need to submit a copy of a letter from the owner of that trade name showing that you have permission from them to bottle on their behalf using that exact name. You then need to list the name exactly as it was registered and as it will appear on the basic permit.
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I certify that the listed trade name has been registered with my County (CA) or State (All States):
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I'll use your example.  

"Example Distillery, LLC," is the legal name of the business.  It is the "person" that is engaging in business.

You, as the organizer, give birth to Example Distillery, LLC by submitting organizational documents to a state, which issues the birth certificate, i.e., the articles of organization, or whatever they may be called in that state, bestowing person-hood on Example Distillery, LLC.  Examples Distillery, LLC's right to free speech is now constitutionally protected, but on the flip side, when I discover road kill in a bottle of  Example's finest, Example Distillery, LLC is the person I sue.

if Example Distillery, LLC holds forth to the public that the entity conducting the business is Example Distillery, sans any mention of the fact it is an LLC, it is operating the business as Example Distillery.  Hence the TTB designation "Operating Trade Name."  If Example Distillery, LLC does not hold forth that it is  Example Distillery (sans the LLC), or some other fictional name, then it has no operating trade name.

In any case,  Example Distillery, without the LLC, is a fiction,  It does not exist.  If I sue Example Distillery, I get nothing.  TTB does not object to the fiction, but it it wants the fiction to be transparent to inquiring minds, so it requires that the legal entity, which qualifies to conduct the business, list the operating trade name, if any, under which the legal entity will conduct business.

Examples that use similar names may make the rules appear trivial, but what if Example Distillery, LLC were to do business under the operating trade name, Typical Spirits.  There is no way that the public would be able to deduce, from the names alone, that Typical Spirits likely was nothing more than an ethereal, assumed name of Example Distillery, LLC.  Because of things like roadkill in bottles, governments want to provide a way for the litigious consumer, who finds remains in a product,  to identify the responsible party.   Unless someone requires that Example Distillery, LLC register the trade name Typical Spirits before it engages in business as Typical Spirits, identifying the responsible party is difficult.  

How the means of identification are established varies from state to state.  It used to be that some states did not require that an entity  register a trade name, with the sole consequence being that the entity could not sue or be sued under the unregistered name, but I think most, if not all states,  now require that entities register trade names.    At any rate, TTB's requirement that you list the operating trade name, if any, remedies any instance in which the state has not imposed a requirement.  If I find squashed toad in a bottle of Typical Spirits finest, I ask TTB, "Who bottled this?" and TTB can tell me.

By rule, TTB allows only one operating trade name per legal entity.   Why?  Because it says so and it make the rules.

But It allows many bottling trade name. Let's assume that Example Distillery, LLC, which is doing business as Example Distillery, enters into an agreement with Munchies Restaurants to Bottle Scrumptious Vodka.  Scrumptious is the brand name.  You do not list brand names with TTB, but you better get a trademark on the brand name or you are asking for trouble these days.

If Munchies wants s the mandatory name and address required by the regulations to appear as "Distilled and Bottled by Munchies Spirits Company, Up Chuck, Wisconsin," Example Distillery can accommodate that.  Example Distillery, LLC, dba Example Distillery,  registers, with TTB, the bottling trade name Munchies Spirits Company.  Example Distillery could do the same thing, with different bottling trade names, for 10 other clients.  Or, f it wanted to project different identities for its premium products and well brands, Example Distillery  could do so by bottling under different bottling trade names that were its own intellectual property.  

So, in the scenario we've constructed Example Distillery, LLC is the legal entity (you can only have one legal trade name), that is engaging in business under the operating trade name "Example Distillery (you can only have one operating trade name).  Example Distillery, LLC, dba Example Distillery, which is how the federal basic permit will be issued, bottles  some product for Munchies account under the bottling trade name "Munchies Spirits Company," which can be one of many bottling trade names under which it bottles.   

When you have a bottling trade name, neither the legal name or the operating trade name need appear on the bottle but they may appear on the bottle if you prefer.  When you have an operating trade name, that name may appear as the name of the bottler, without reference to the legal name, but the you may use the legal name if you prefer.  When you have neither a bottling trade name or a operating trade name, the legal name must appear as the name of the bottler.

 As to "bottling for the account of,"  this is already running long for a free answer :-)

If anyone is interested in doing this sort of thing, and wants a guiding hand, my doors are open for business.


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