1. How long does it take to get a DSP permit approved?
As of 2016, you should allow about six months (to get your federal, TTB approval to operate a distilled spirits plant). The single best thing you can do, to help on this, is to start early — as soon as you have selected a premises (such as signing a lease or buying the property) and formed the entity (such as an LLC) . Once this is well along, there is really no such thing as starting too early, especially in that TTB does not charge any startup or annual fees. The next best thing you should consider is to consult with somebody who has been through this process before. I would analogize it to an average tax return in terms of complexity. That is, with taxes, most any adult can handle the task if they have the right software, have 20-60 hours to spare, don’t find the task too odious, have some patience, and don’t have something that is a far better use of their time.
TTB maintains a fairly updated list of permit processing times, here. Our goal would be to save you time and money and headaches by getting the job done in less than whatever is the prevailing norm. We have handled a large number of DSP applications over many years, via the old paper-based system as well as the newer Permits Online (PONL) system. We have worked with dozens of TTB specialists, and many hundreds of permit matters in general. We have found that most startups are intensely interested in how long the process takes, and trying to shave even a few weeks off that timeline. In many cases we have succeeded in gaining approvals in far less than the prevailing norm.
For more information about this topic, contact Robert Lehrman.