How to Open Your Own Wine Bar

1. Identify and register your business structure

After deciding you want to start a wine bar, you’ll need to decide how you will structure your business, whether as a sole trader, partnership or company. Being a sole trader means you have unlimited liability for the costs you incur in running your wine bar. To be a sole trader, you will need to register online for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Conversely, a company structure will mean your business is a separate legal entity and you will be taxed under corporate rates. To operate as a company you will need to register your company and obtain an Australian Company Number (ACN).

2. Make a business plan

After you decide what your business structure will be, you can start planning what your wine bar will look like. This includes the branding, furnishing, target audience, and how your business will serve your target market. This can all be outlined in your business plan which includes your marketing plan, implementation plan, and feasibility analysis.

3. Obtain a liquor licence

Based off your business plan, pick which licence is appropriate for the scale, scope and operations of your wine bar. For instance, if your wine bar will only accommodate around 100 patrons without gaming machines and take-away alcohol, you should obtain a small bar licence. Otherwise, to pick other types of liquor licence that suit your needs, you can visit Liquor and Gaming NSW’s website. It’s important to also note here that heavy fines apply if you do not operate your bar under the correct licence.

4. Insurance

It’s important that all businesses have insurance, but especially if your business is a venue that patrons will visit for a longer period of time. Public liability insurance will protect you if a third party is injured or their property gets damaged on your premises.

Final thoughts

Opening a wine bar requires strict compliance with legal regulations. This is to reduce the liability of your business and ensure that it’s safe for consumers. However, opening a wine bar can be an extremely lucrative venture , especially if you’re strategic about choosing your location and specialties. For further advice about starting your business, it may be wise to consult a business lawyer.

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