I am not licensed in your state. However, my suggestion is not to wait. The liability issue may arise at any moment. Hire an attorney in your locality and set up your company as soon as possible. You will understand the benefit later on. Best
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I strongly advise that you form the company now, before you begin operations of any sort, which would include entering contracts with the distributor and bottling facility. I also recommend that you begin to build a relationship with a business attorney, preferably one with commercial transaction experience. That relationship may prove invaluable to you in the long run.
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You will want to file your business now before you start doing business. For employment law reasons, contract formations, leasing reasons, trademark registration and food/alcohol compliance reasons, you want to do this in the company rather than an individual and then transfer to your company.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
I agree with all of the lawyers that recommend you set up an entity now. I want to caution you against doing this yourself. While it is very easy to go on line and set up a corporation, limited Liability Company, there are many important things to consider in which entity is best for you. The value of going to a lawyer to help you with this is not the filing for the entity with the secretary of state; it is in getting good advice as to what entity is best for you given many variables. You need to consider ease of operation, risk of liability, personal wealth, insurance, tax treatment, how fringe befits and retirement benefits may be affected by different entity choice.
Only a lawyer with tax and business experience is going to be able to help you here. For the best outcome you will want your attorney to work closely with your tax accountant. It may seem expensive to pay both of their fees, but in the long run, a collaborative effort including your CPA and Your Attorney will pay off and you will be on your way to a strong successful business.
Every situation is different, it is important to discuss your legal issue with a knowledgeable attorney in your jurisdiction. To schedule an appointment with me please contact me at 800 220-4205 or www.MartyBurbankLaw.com