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The alternating proprietorship ("AP") is a relationship between a "host" producer with excess capacity, and one or more smaller producers that share space and equipment within the host's facility. This "shared premises" model has become very common in the wine industry, and is gaining in popularity for brewery operators.

An AP allows two or more proprietors to alternate the use of portions of a winery or brewery premise, thereby sharing the cost of facilities, equipment, and personnel. Many small start-ups begin operating in this fashion before making the commitment to acquire a facility of their own. The larger host operators benefit as well. By maximizing the use of their equipment, they are able to achieve the economies of scale they need to compete effectively in their category.

This efficient style of operating is a bit more complicated to set up and maintain than traditional stand-alone operations. Compliance Service of America has years of experience with alternating proprietorships. In 1991, CSA's founder Sara Schorske worked with ATF (now TTB) and the California ABC to gain approval for the first shared premises winery in that state, and we have midwifed the birth of numerous APs since then. We can expertly advise you about this option, handle all of its licensing complexities, de-mystify the day-to-day operational procedures, and deliver the advantages to your company.

Federal regulations also allow another kind of "alternation" -- where a proprietor uses a single facility for its own operations under multiple classes of licenses. For example, in order to de-alcoholize wine or produce distilled spirits at your winery or brewery, additional licenses and permits are required. Instead of incurring the cost and inconvenience of establishing completely separate premises for these operations, you can alternate the use of your existing plant's floor space, tanks, and personnel for greater efficiency. CSA can help you plan and execute these cost-and-space saving measures.

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