Does Alternative Lending For Your Pennsylvania Wine Or Hospitalty Business Sound Enticing?

We can all probably agree that building your new winery or hospitality business takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and boatload of money. Whereas the baby boomer generation typically relied on traditional forms of financing such as bank loans, savings accounts, small business administration loans and daddy, today’s millennial entrepreneurs are turning to non-traditional forms of financing and lending sources. seed$images

Millennial hospitality and wine business entrepreneurs who have struggled to find access to capital are relying now on more organic ways to fund their wine and hospitality businesses. One such way is by pursuing alternative crowd-funding financing. Crowd-funding, also known as peer-to peer lending, is a popular and growing alternative method of raising money.

Unlike an angel investment in which one person typically takes a larger stake in a small business, crowd-funding attracts a crowd of people, each of who take a small stake in a business by contributing towards an online funding target. Its main benefit is the creation of a strong network of support for your business. Your investors often become your evangelists for your brand.

On such crowd funding source is Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com). Typically there is no cost to launch a crowd-funding campaign. If you business is successful in its funding, Kickstarter takes a small fee plus payment processing. If your campaign fails, there are no fees.

Crowd-funding can provide a fantastic opportunity but it should not be taken lightly. You may wish to contact your lawyer or CPA for professional assistance. For more help and information on this alternative financing source, you should also consult the Small Business Administration’s (www.SBA.GOV) online course on Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Now go out there and “show me the money.”

May Your Holiday Wishes Be Filled With Good Wine and Cheer!

Happy holidays and best wishes from the Law Offices of Judy M. Young, LLC. Its hard to believe its been almost eightchristmas-holiday-wallpaper years since the launch of Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Lawyer. Its been a real joy and a blessing to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania wine and hospitality community. As 2015 approaches, we look forward to serving your future legal needs. We hope your new year is filled with good health, happiness, and cheer.

A Best Business Practice For Your Pennsylvania Hospitality Business

One of the most difficult factors to comply with when forming a Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) is to remember that you and your business are not the same. This is especially significant for LLC’s that have a single member or handful of members.best_practice2.6022437_std

As the LLC owner, you are distinguishable now as the Agent of the LLC. Thus, when signing contracts and other business documents, you should do so on behalf of the LLC and not as an individual. This can sometimes be difficult to remember if you have grown out of your role as Sole Proprietor or Partnership, and have transitioned into a LLC.

In order to maintain the maximum protection of personal liability that your LLC provides, you will want to maintain this important legal distinction. Failure to do so may put you into a position where a judge may determine that you are personally liable for the debts of your restaurant, winery, or wine based based hospitality business. Adherence to this best practice will help to shield the members of the LLC.

Forming the habit of maintaining best business practices will ensure the success your hospitality business.

I have a dream. You have a dream. Or do you?

Every year when the New Year rolls around I’m reminded of the folks that have approached my practice happy-new-year-wine-and-grapesat the beginning of every year to discuss their desire to open their own winery, restaurant, or other wine based business. We typically discuss how to best proceed in their mission. I listen respectfully as they share their dreams and passions. We talk about the hard work, the diligence and the finanacial committment that will be necessary to fulfill their dreams. Some of these entrepreneurs to be, discover that they more romantic hobbyists than entrepreneur, abandoning the dream along the way. Others non-committers speak their dreams out loud, failing to act, while watching at a distance as others take their dreams and implement the very dream they thought they once had but for their own failure to act.

When the dust settles and clears, what I’ve learned is that the difference between those that “talk the talk” and those that “walk the walk “ comes right down to the “doers”.

The “doers have a dream that they hold on to very tightly. “Doers keep their visions and plans to themselves so as to limit the negative feedback from those who would discourage them, identifying barriers or reinforcing negative thoughts their dreams can’t be accomplished. The “doer’s work diligently when no one is looking, often without pats on the backs, or ego’s stroked, perservering with their vision and goals. The “doer’s stay committed to their fulfilling their dreams of opening that new tasting room, restaurant, bed and breakfast or wine based business.

As the new year of 2013 unfolds, who will you be? Will you stay true to your dream of beginning the new path towards entrepreneurship. Perhaps your dream is to finally act on that expansion that you’ve been planning for years. Or maybe, this is the time to pursue that new acquisition. Might this be your year to build a new business? Whatever the case, if it is your dream, now is the time to act. Now is the time to do. Don’t let others derail what you know in your heart and mind is your dream path to follow.

Be a “Doer” in 2013. This is your time. This is your moment. Live your dream.

Before You Say “I Do”, Know Exactly Who Is Standing Next To You

imagesI am routinely approached by people who have an idea to open a new winery, restaurant, catering business or other wine and hospitality business. Many of these persons often consider entering their new business venture with a family member or friend.

Typically I recommend that before they say “I do” to forming a Company or Partnership, that they first ask themselves if they are choosing the right person for the business. In other words, who is standing next to you?

Saying “I do” or choosing the wrong business mate can have dreadful consequences with disastrous long term effects.

When picking the right partner for your new Company or Partnership, you must keep in mind your business objectives. Your choice of the right business mate isn’t personal, its business. I repeat:

Its not personal. Its business.

Picking a business mate because they are your “friend” is rarely ever a good idea. Business decisions can strain personal relationships that can lead to having a negative effect on your buisness.

When picking the right partner for your new business, focus on individual (s) that have a complementary skill set to your own. Pick someone who is best suited to building a practice together. Pay less attention to where your partner went to school, more attention to he or she has achieved or accomplished.

Perhaps you are good at organizing the financial side of the business while your business mate may be customer service oriented. Maybe your partner excels at being the “face” of the business, while you on the other-hand may be solution oriented. You may be a good problem solver whereas you partner may be great at networking and fundraising. Is your partner a visionary or an executor? These are factors to consider whether you bring or have something each uniquely offers to the business. In other words, your best partner/businessmate is one that is the Yin to your Yang.

Before you say “I Do” and walk down the aisle of entering a new business venture with a new partner at your side, make sure the right person is standing next to you.

Planning your business well with the right partner or founder will lead to a long term prosperous business relationship.

Now you can say it. “I Do”.

Eight Ways To Ensure That Your Pennsylvania Winery Or Hospitality Business Remains In Order

Forming a separate business entity for your new or existing winery, restaurant, corporate_compliance300_0catering, or wine based hospitality business is a critical step. Your corporation is responsible for the debts and liabilities of your wine or hospitality business shielding your personal assets separate from those of your business. But once the business formation process is complete, your job isn’t finished. You must ensure that your Corporation or LLC entity remains in compliance so that your “corporate veil” is not pierced, making you personally liable for the debts of your wine or hospitality business.

Here are eight ways to ensure that your Pennsylvania winery or hospitality business remains in compliance.

1.) Do not co-mingle your personal and business finances.

2.) Maintain your regular and annual corporate minutes and resolutions.

3.) Be sure to file your annual reporting requirements with the Secretary of State.

4.) Record any changes and amendments to your Articles of Incorporation and file
those timely with State and Federal Regulatory bodies, i.e Municipal Reporting and Zoning Requirements, Liquor Control Boards and the Federal TTB as applicable.

5.) If you operate out of state, make sure your business is legal out of state in the event you need to qualify as a “Foreign Corporation of LLC” within the state that you are doing business.

6.) Take time out of your busy schedule to address your administrative legal requirements.

7.) Maintain your corporate tax filings just as you would with your individual taxes.

8 ) Contact your Accountant or Legal Counsel should you run into any compliance issues.

Taking Care Of Business: The Keys To Success For A Healthier Restaurant Or Hospitality Business

Starting or running a successful restaurant or hospitality business can be extremelysuccesshospitality overwhelming. You need more than just your desire and passion to excel. Careful preparation is key to avoiding making painful mistakes along the way. Because, at the end of the day, diners vote with their forks. And…you want them to vote for you.

Getting the vote of your customers means your food or wine business enterprise will need to emerge as a success. If you currently own or plan to own your own restaurant, small chef eatery, catering, wine business or food selling dynasty here are a few good tips that will help you avoid some unnecessary pitfalls as you grow your successful hospitality enterprise.

A solid business plan is your roadmap to your future. Make sure you have one. A good solid business plan will help you to focus on your location, your anticipated customer base, and what measurable goals you’ll need to make to turn a profit. While you may be an awesome chef, caterer, or wine entrepreneur your ability to stay in business is also a function of your ability to control your costs. A business plan will help you to identify and track your goals and how well you are doing. A good business plan will cover a general description of your business, your financial management and marketing plans.

Develop a cash flow statement. A cash flow statment will project when you will need to borrow money, hustle for more business or reduce your debts. It will also guide you as to when you need to make those much needed capital investments and improvements into your business.

Carefully preserve you credit. Do not borrow for payroll or short term needs. These should be taker from your current cash flow.

Build a relationship with your bank. When it comes time to deal with loans or lines of credit, having a friendly relationship with your banker can be extremely beneficial.

If you feel you lack an appropriate business skill set because your real love is your focus on your food, then be sure to retain the right lawyer to look over your business contracts and to conduct your contract negotiations.

You may want to create a Partnership with another individual or entity not just for and injection of money, but for sound business advice. Alternatively you may want to enlist the services of a business or restaurant consultant who specializes in the restaurant industry. This can be a good resource to develop your ideas or help you to implement a successful business strategy.

Develop good employee relations standards. Pursue a good understanding of your federal, state and local labor laws. You want to avoid unfavorable legal action taken against you by knowing how these laws affect the way you need to conduct your business on a daily basis.

Visit your local planning department in your municipality to educate yourself on applicable zoning, parking, signage, noise, sewage and other requirements that you’ll need to know to cut through the red tape necessary to operate your business.

If you plan to serve liquor in your restaurant you’ll need to protect your business investment by ensuring that you’re properly protected from suits filed by 3rd parties for damages or injuries caused by patrons imbibing in your establishment. Invest in liquor liability training procedures for you and your restaurant staff.

If you incorporate these tips into the daily operation of your business, you will be well on your way to running a successful hospitality enterprise. Keep you eyes on the prize and remember the big picture. Success won’t just be measured in metrics alone but will be expressed with the people connections you make with your food. Now go out there and get your votes.

After-all, you’re taking care of business.

Is Your Winery, Wine Or Hospitality Business On Trickster, Fraudster, Scammer, Gangster Alert?

Just how alert are you from the tricksters, fraudsters, scammers, and gangsters that are out to drain your winery, wine or hospitality business profits? These predators prey on the fact that while you’re out planting grapes, stocking the tasting room, meeting with new vendors, or maybe seeking counsel with me, you’ll be to busy to notice that your winery or hospitality business has been targeted by yet another treacherous scam.

Perhaps its an invoice for a product you didn’t order. Or maybe you’re being hounded by a debt collector seeking a past due collection on an internet service you didn’t buy. Could it be you’re being gouged for some ink you didn’t receive?

Either way, now is as good of time as any to learn how to protect your business from these predators. Take a moment now to watch this video and learn what you can do to protect your business from fraud.

Now, tricksters, fraudsters, scammers,and gangsters beware!

Pennsylvania’s Restaurant and Hospitality Industry “Happy Hours” Are Looking To Get Happier

A legislative bill by state Rep. John Payne, R-Dauphin was unanimously approved by the state’s House Liquor Control Committee and now moves to the full House for consideration. The bill would allow the restaurant and hospitality industry in Pennsylvania happy-hourto have longer “happy hours”. The bill is aimed at giving restaurants and bars greater flexibility and would also allow them to sell more wine to patrons for off premise consumption at offsite catering events.

Currently, “happy hours” are limited to two consecutive hours per day, with a 14 hour per week limit. The proposed changes would allow establishments to hold happy hours up to 14 hours a day but still be limited to not more than 14 hours a week. The 14 hours could be divided up however the proprietor wants thus allowing for greater flexibility. Happy hours would remain prohibited after midnight.

Under current law a restaurant with a liquor license cannot serve alcohol at off site catered events. The proposed legislative change would allow a restaurant’s liquor license to be valid for off premise catering. The proposed changes would not effect dry communities. Serving alcohol in dry communities would remain prohibited.

Finally, the proposed legislation would allow a patron to buy up to three bottles of unopened wine and take it home. Albeit this can be routinely a more expensive way to buy wine, proponents of the bill believe this change allows the customer a way to buy those “hard to find” wines.

In that the proposed legislation House Bill 148 is aimed at modernizing the state’s liquor code, Payne’s proposal has the support of the Pennsylvania Tavern and Restaurant Associations.

Will Your Pennsylvania Restaurant Or Hospitality Business Be Voted Most Likely To Succeed?

Running a successful restaurant or hospitality business can be extremely grueling.1888_vote It takes more than just your passion to succeed. You have to be well prepared to avoid making painful mistakes along the way. Because at the end of the day, diners vote with their forks. And…you want them to vote for you.

To do so, your food business enterprise will need to emerge as a success. If you currently own or plan to own your own restaurant, small chef eatery, catering business or food selling dynasty here are a few good tips that will help you avoid some unnecessary pitfalls as you grow your successful food enterprise.

Make sure you have a sound business plan. A good solid business plan will help you to focus on your location, your anticipated customer base, and what measurable goals you’ll need to make to turn a profit. While you may be an awesome chef or caterer, your ability to stay in business is also a function of your ability to control your costs. A business plan will help you to identify and track your goals and how well you are doing.

If you feel you lack an appropriate business skill set because your real love is your focus on your food, then be sure to retain the right lawyer to look over your business contracts and to conduct your contract negotiations.

You may want to create a Partnership with another individual or entity not just for and injection of money, but for sound business advice. Alternatively you may want to enlist the services of a business or restaurant consultant who specializes in the restaurant industry. This can be a good resource to develop your ideas or help you to implement a successful business strategy.

Develop good employee relations standards. Pursue a good understanding of your federal, state and local labor laws. You want to avoid unfavorable legal action taken against you by knowing how these laws affect the way you need to conduct your business on a daily basis.

Visit your local planning department in your municipality to educate yourself on applicable zoning, parking, signage, noise, sewage and other requirements that you’ll need to know to cut through the red tape necessary to operate your business.

If you plan to serve liquor in your restaurant you’ll need to protect your business investment by ensuring that you’re properly protected from suits filed by 3rd parties for damages or injuries caused by patrons imbibing in your establishment. Invest in liquor liability training procedures for you and your restaurant staff.

If you incorporate these tips into the daily operation of your business, you will be well on your way to running a successful hospitality enterprise.

Keep you eyes on the prize and remember the big picture. Success won’t just be measured in metrics alone but will be expressed with the people connections you make with your food. Now go out there and get your votes. After-all, you’re most likely to succeed.