What Do I Need To Register My Tequila Brand In Mexico?

Read Time: 4 min.

Doing business in another country is a little more complicated than using a local supplier. Plus, alcohol carries with it its own set of legislation, which varies from country to country.

Registering a tequila brand has yet another layer of complexity because it is a demarcated product. That means that to be called tequila, it needs to follow certain rules and regulations. These laws protect the product, our heritage, and traditions, and without these protections, it would not be called tequila.

Tequila Designation of Origin

Much like the French Appellation Controlee system for wine and champagne, tequila has its own distinctive set of regulations concerning the type of agave used to make it, where the agave is grown, and where it is processed, distilled, and bottled.

Five Mexican states have the Designation of Origin:

  • Jalisco – All territories
  • Michoacán – 30 municipalities
  • Nayarit – 8 municipalities
  • Tamaulipas – 11 municipalities
  • Guanajuato – 7 municipalities

If the agave spirit does not comply with the regulations under the Designation of Origin, it cannot be called tequila. Since the 1970s, tequila has been protected internationally, known worldwide as a distinct product of Mexico.

register tequila brand

Tequila producers and agave producers that adhere to legislative standards are authenticated by the Tequila Regulatory Council. Distillers are issued a NOM number, or Norma Oficial Mexicana, which is to be displayed on the label to identify where the spirit is bottled.

Other regulations include:

  • Minimum 40% ABV for the U.S. Other countries may vary; Mexico 35%, Europe 38%
  • Must be made from natural ingredients
  • Any additional ingredients or flavors must be listed on the label
  • Must be a minimum of 51% agave spirit, with the rest from cane sugar distillate
  • Tequila from 100% Agave must be noted as such on the label

Why Is The DOT Important?

Beyond the legalities, it is important that the consumer knows their product is authentic. The Designation of Origin of Tequila (DOT) assures this by regulating and registering the parties involved in tequila production as well as the information that goes onto the label.

For example, the label must contain the word tequila, the ABV, the quantity contained inside the bottle, the name and address of the producer or the registered business, the name of the registered trademark, and the statement “Made in Mexico,” “Mexican Product” or “Produced in Mexico” as well as the NOM.

For export to other countries, there might be additional labeling requirements and quality assurance regulations – but either way, the labels need to be approved in the country you intend to sell it in before you can do anything with it.

Why Invest In A Tequila Business Right Now?

If you are considering investing in a tequila business in 2021, you could not have chosen a better time. Markets are high, and demand is growing for premium and ultra-premium tequilas, and it’s easier than ever to work with a quality-minded producer who will help you succeed. 

It should also be noted that if you intend to market and sell your tequila outside of Mexico, there is no requirement that you register your brand in Mexico. However, we always recommend registering your name here first because then you have a product that is unique in its country of origin.

Your tequila brand should be registered as soon as possible. You will also have to submit an application to the Tequila Regulation Council (CRT), which must be filled out in Spanish. This is your declaration that you will be producing your tequila brand with Aceves Spirits. They are also the regulatory body you will submit your label design to once it’s ready. It takes about 90 days to receive CRT confirmation. To save time, the documentation can be filed simultaneously with your brand registration, as it can also take a couple of months.

In the meantime, there are plenty of details to work on, including package design, label, and marketing strategy.

How Aceves Spirits Helps

Aceves Spirits gives you a distinct advantage in that we are well-versed in every legislative aspect of tequila production and registration. As third-generation producers, the Aceves family is well-known and respected in the industry, which is helpful if you are registering a brand in Mexico for the first time.

Additionally, our product is export-ready, meaning that you can avoid having to jump through a lot of legislative hoops here in Mexico. Our team will work with you to ensure your tequila is submitted to the authorities in your destination country. We’ll walk with you through every step to ensure all legal directives are met. Whether you need to submit your product for lab testing or file excise paperwork, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Tell Us About Your Brand!

If you are considering launching your own tequila brand, you need to work with an experienced partner who knows what it takes to succeed. Reach out today; we would love to hear about your brand and show you how we can help.