Follow the journey
The Craft Beer Social started out as a fun hobby but as time has progressed I've decided to put the time and effort into making it a legitimate business venture. I hope that one day I can financially sustain myself from my blog/social media and eventually a brewery I plan to open. I'm in the very early stages of this journey and even though I make zero to little money from my blog I have decided to form an actual company. This will build my motivation, keep me focused, and make this journey even more real!
***Disclaimer: The information in this article is in no way, shape, or form legal advice. This article is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, it is always best to seek the counsel of a lawyer. The information in this article is provided with the understanding that the author is not herein engaged in rendering legal, tax, or other professional advice and services. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom The Craft Beer Social has no control. The Craft Beer Social makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other websites.
The IRS uses the following criteria to determine if a venture is simply a hobby or a legitimate business:
A Brief History of The Craft Beer Social
My craft beer journey started in 2010 when I had my first IPA, Atomic Punk, from my hometown brewery, Berwick Brewing Co. It would be another year until I was introduced to homebrewing after my brother and I got my dad a homebrew kit for Father's Day. Another two years would pass until I moved to Florida and got my own homebrew kit. In 2015 I joined the amazing team at Momentum Brewhouse in Bonita Springs, FL as a part-time tasting room server. It was during my time at Momentum Brewhouse that I knew I wanted to make craft beer my future career.
One year into my time at Momentum is when I decided to start The Craft Beer Social blog. I began the blog to help keep me on track, motivated and involved in the craft beer industry and with homebrewing. It slow grew and I mean slowly! I didn't post regularly on the blog or social media and so I didn't gain many followers (except for my close friends and family).
Recently, I have decided to put more time and effort into The Craft Beer Social. Creating regular blog posts about homebrewing and the local craft beer scene, posting regularly on Instagram, and building an online store of craft beer related items have been my focus. I even started waking up at 4:30 am Monday through Friday so I can work on the blog before getting around for work! I'm making The Craft Beer Social my true part-time job (for now).
Since I am now treating The Craft Beer Social like a job (part-time and for no pay) and am growing the online store I decided to make it a legitimate company. As of August 17, 2018 The Craft Beer Social is officially The Craft Beer Social, LLC! This will help with tax purposes and help to protect myself personally.
How To File LLC Articles of Organization in Florida
Filing to become an Limited Liability Corporation in the State of Florida was pretty simple, straight forward, and everything can be done online. Simply go to the Department of State website to GET STARTED.
Here is what you will need to file your Articles of Organization:
The definitions for all of the above criteria can be found here: Instructions for Articles of Organization (FL LLC)
Currently, the total cost for filing your Articles of Organization are $125.00.
It only took about 36 hours to receive an official letter (via email) that my application was accepted and The Craft Beer Social, LLC became a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Florida!
My next step was to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Employer Identification Numbers are issued for the purpose of tax administration (i.e. filing tax returns). The IRS has a list of links with some great information for people looking to start a small business: What New Business Owners Need to Know About Federal Taxes
The requirements for an EIN application are short and sweet:
Unlike filing for an LLC, you will receive an EIN immediately upon completion of the application.
There is no cost for obtaining your Federal EIN.
Florida Business Tax Application (DR-1)
Now that The Craft Beer Social is a legal company in the State of Florida and is registered with the Federal government I can submit my Florida Business Tax Application. Essentially this application will allow me to collect sales taxes on the State's behalf and then submit them to the State annually. This will also allow me to purchase items that I will then resell as part of my business tax free! It basically lets me pass the sales tax on to the end user instead of sales tax being paid at each transaction (i.e. wholesaler to TCBS and then TCBS to customer). I have already submitted my application and am just waiting for a reply.
The form to submit for the tax application in Florida is the DR-1.
This is filed through the Department of Revenue. Their website has some great information on what qualifies as a tax free purchase for your company HERE.
If you are looking to start a small business the above is a good place to start but not a be all, end all. Be sure to do some research regarding your specific state as this is specific to Florida. I highly recommend to seek the counsel of a lawer if you have any questions about starting a business!
The Craft Beer Social has officially begun a new chapter!