Way back in the 1980s and earlier, you could pretty much meet face to face with a real, live person and get approvals (or even rejections or advice) on the spot. But that’s long-gone, like getting a house visit from your doctor. Labels can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a month or so, and it is constantly fluctuating, as at these helpful lookup pages. The linked pages show the average processing times for TTB labels, formulas, permits and setting up TTB online accounts. Formulas can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple of months, similarly. The next best thing you can do is find a person with wide and deep experience in TTB rules. If you are big enough, it is probably feasible to develop this capability in house. Most others should consider a lawyer or consultant with a specialty in this area. Like a lot of things, it’s pretty easy to do the most basic and superficial things well, without a lot of expertise, but the devil is often in the details.
A good expert can usually save you a lot of time and money to the point where it becomes penny-wise and pound-foolish not to consider such an approach. The expert can counsel you about when the TTB pushback is probably well-founded, and when it is not. The expert can guide you through expediting labels, permits and formulas, and getting things done in less than the average processing times as shown. Most importantly, the expert can often help you to prepare the documents carefully, so they can be quickly and correctly accepted by TTB upon the first review, rather than after a protracted dialogue. We have handled many thousands of approvals, over a combined 100 or more years of experience, and our goal is to save you time in the long run, so you can focus on your favorite aspects of the beverage business.
For more information about this topic, contact Robert Lehrman.