How to form an S-corporation for Alcoholic Beverages


When you decide to form an S corporation, there is a lot of paperwork involved. The process begins with creating the articles of incorporation and naming your business. You’ll also need to create bylaws, minutes, and stock certificates. An employee ID number will be needed in order for your company to become an S corp.

1. Decide what kind of S corporation election is right for your business

  • S corporations are a great way to protect your personal assets and allow the business to take advantage of certain tax benefits.
  • S corporations are a great way to avoid double taxation, which occurs when your business passes income through to you as an owner and then you pay taxes on it again.
  • S corporations are also good for avoiding certain legal liabilities that come with getting sued or having product liability claims filed against your company.

2. Create the articles of incorporation

Once you have figured out that an S-corporation is the best fit for your alcoholic beverage business, it’s time to create the articles of incorporation. These are required by the state in which you intend to do business and usually filed with them. The articles of incorporation establish your corporation and are filed where the business is located.

If you choose to file for an S-corporation then a lawyer will help create your articles of incorporation as well as other documents related to establishing a corporation such as bylaws, shareholder agreements, etc.

3. Name your S corporation

Once you’ve found a name that’s available to register, check the following:

  • The name must be distinguishable from other names registered in your state.
  • The name must not exceed 15 characters (including punctuation).
  • The name cannot be “deceptive,” such as using a name that sounds like another company or industry.
  • The name must not be obscene or offensive to any person or community in your state, and it must not contain words related to sexual acts or body parts.

4. File the articles of incorporation

Now that you know the basics of how to form an S-corporation for alcoholic beverages, let’s talk about the actual process. The first thing you’ll want to do is create articles of incorporation that reflect your business structure. You can use this article as a reference and modify it accordingly.

Once you’ve completed your articles of incorporation, send them to your state’s Secretary of State office. In most cases, they will be required by law to review and approve these documents before they are filed with their office. Since every state has its own rules regarding what information needs to be included in articles of incorporation, contact your local Secretary of State’s office for more details about what information is needed when filing this document with them.

5. In order to be an S Corporation, you must have a corporate structure

You must have a corporate structure in place before you can form an S Corporation. A corporate structure is a legal entity that can own property and enter into contracts in its own name. It’s also separate from its owners, who are known as shareholders.

To form the corporate structure, you will need:

  • A board of directors (or if there is none, then at least 1 director)
  • Corporate minutes

6. Create bylaws and organizational minutes

A set of bylaws is a document that sets out the rules and regulations governing the operation of an organization. The term “bylaws” can also refer to organizational minutes, which are official records kept by a corporation to record its proceedings. Bylaws are typically adopted by a board of directors and approved by shareholders; however, there is no legal requirement for this type of documentation in an S-corporation.

7. Elect a board of directors and issue stock certificates

  •  who should be responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and making decisions on behalf of the corporation.
  • Issue stock certificates to yourself and other shareholders (if applicable), which will have an assigned value based on how much money you invested in your company. You can also buy or sell shares of your company’s stock later on if you want to make changes to this ratio.
  • Make sure that all shareholders sign agreements stating that they agree with the terms laid out by their state’s laws regulating corporations before forming an S-corporation for alcoholic beverages!

8. Obtain an employee identification number

An EIN is a tax ID number that is used by businesses. You can apply for an EIN at the IRS website, or with some banks and financial institutions.

In order to open a bank account, which we’ll cover in more detail later on in this post—or even make it past start-up phase—you will need an EIN. The best way to get one is by going directly through the IRS website and filling out their request form online.

9. Register your S corporation with the state tax agency to avoid double taxation and take an exemption from the corporate income tax

  • Register with your state tax agency, which will be called something like “Department of Revenue” or “State Tax Commission.” You can file this form online, by mail or in person with a representative at your local office. You’ll have to pay an annual fee for this registration if you haven’t already paid it when incorporating. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much money to send in with your form, talk to an accountant about how much it will cost for them to calculate it for you.
  • Get an exemption from the corporate income tax so that any profits from sales are not taxed twice (once at the company level and once again when they’re distributed as dividends).


You can now go ahead and form an S corporation for your business. The process is not very difficult, but it does require a lot of paperwork and planning. You will need to plan out everything that needs to be done before you begin the actual formation process so that nothing is left out when it comes time to file your articles of incorporation with the state.

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