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Published on July 21st, 2016 | by Dean Carr


Selling alcohol from home

Many small cottage style industries start life in peoples front rooms. There are lots of small businesses that operate from home, such as people who make up hampers or gift sets that would like to add a bottle of wine or small selection of alcohol to help sell their products.

So is it possible to sell alcohol from home?

It can be done but there is a lot of red tape to cut through first!
The first thing you need to do is Look at the title deeds to your house and see whether your property is affected by any restrictive covenants prohibiting the sale of alcohol. Some covenants may prohibit the running of a small business form your home. Many housing associations and councils will have a restrictive covenant about running a business from home in the terms of their lease.

Planning consent
Planning permission is another consideration to think of! Will you need planning consent for selling alcohol from home? The answer is probably yes as your home is classed as a domestic dwelling not a commercial premises.

Council approval
You will also need approval from the local council’s licensing authority and other responsible authorities such as the Police, Trading Standards, Fire Officer etc.

Local neighbours & Location
Your neighbours are another thing to consider as they have a right to make an objection to an application for planning permission and an application for a premises licence. Location of your home is a key factor here as an application on a housing estate or in a built up area will potentially attract more objectors than a rural location.

What does the law state about selling alcohol from home?

Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol in England and Wales must have a licence or other authorisation from a licensing authority – usually a local council. The law and policy governing this area is overseen by the Home Office.

The types of licences required are defined as follows:

1. Any business or other organisation that sells or supplies alcohol on a permanent basis needs to apply for a premises licence.

2. Anyone who plans to sell or supply alcohol or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol must apply for a personal licence.

Selling alcohol from home without the correct authorisation could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 and or six month imprisonment.

Selling alcohol from home what will it cost?
From my previous experience in alcohol licensing I would estimate around £2,500 to £3,000 as the cost of a personal licence in full is about £300. The premises licence application has to be advertised in an acceptable local news paper this can cost anywhere between £250 and £1200 depending where you live. Other things to consider are application fees, planning fees, legal fees etc.

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188

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