Dracaena Wines

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The Registration Blues

We are back to dealing with winery business this week.  Previously, I talked about the Chicken vs. Egg Quandry.  It is tough to know in what order we need to do things. In order to be able to sell, we need to be licensed and in order to be licensed we need to be a business. So first, we needed to become a legal business in New Jersey.  This was funny to me because our winery is in California, but the government has its rules.  Becoming a business in New Jersey wasn’t too difficult. We filed a registration online and of course made out a check.  Once we were an LLC in New Jersey, we needed to become a “foreign LLC” in California to complete our O2 license.  My head is spinning.
This seemed easy enough, fill out a form on the web, write a check (there’s always a check) and mail it in. So we did.  And two weeks later, the paper and check came back.  Apparently, they  updated the form that is online in the time period that we filled it out and mailed it in. – We are just that lucky!  As it turns out, they essentially changed the date on the bottom of the page, but as is typical with the government, they refused it and we had to resubmit.  So we printed out the newly dated form and sent it back.  Wouldn’t you know, two weeks later, it comes back again.  This time the form is right, but we needed to prove that we are a business in good standing here in Jersey.
We ultimately decided to call them to find out exactly what we needed.  What we found out was in order to be considered a business in good standing in New Jersey we had to – YOU GUESSED IT- give New Jersey another check and we were allowed to print a form from the website.  This is the form we needed to provide to California.
Apparently, three times is the charm, because, yesterday in the mail there was another envelope from the State of California.  I was nervous to open it, wondering  what we could have messed up this time. But the old college acceptance motto came to mind.  If you are old enough to remember the old ways of applying to colleges, remember, a thin envelope was a bad sign an a thick envelope was good news.
This envelope was thick. Woohoo!  I opened to find the first line of the letter to state, “Welcome to California! Congratulations on the formation or registration of your limited liability company with the California Secretary of State.”
You ask  what came after, “Please read below?”  Do you really need to ask? You know what it said. It spelled out in simple terms the two other checks we will need to write in order to keep our public record updated. (at least they were nice enough to attach the actual forms this time)