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How To License And Stock Your Pub

By Stephanie Lowndes on April 1st, 2022

The thought of owning a pub is an exciting proposition. Not only will you have the opportunity to live and work on your own terms, but the potential profit margins are high when it comes to alcohol. What’s more, it is a brilliant way to connect and network with others within your community, for pleasure as well as business. It does require long hours and hard work, but pubs have always been an essential part of the fabric of British culture, and it continue to be a thriving and growing industry.

As a pub owner, there are important considerations you need to keep in mind, especially regarding licensing and stock. Obtaining the right alcohol licence for your establishment requires navigating various regulations and undergoing an application process. In this article, we will cover these legal aspects in detail, along with guidance on stocking your pub and protecting your business with comprehensive and thorough pub insurance.

  1. Licensing Laws
  2. Application Process And Appeals
  3. Stocking Your Pub
  4. Pub Insurance

Licensing Laws

Within the United Kingdom, any individual or business that wants to sell alcohol is required to have a license, or some form of authorisation from a licensing authority. If you intend to open a pub, then it is absolutely essential that you understand and abide by the various licensing laws in order to avoid any problems. The Licensing Act 2003 establishes the many rules that surround selling alcohol, including the requirement that you have to apply for a license before you or your business can do any of the activities, which are covered by this legislation

The importance of following these regulations cannot be emphasised enough, otherwise you may risk having your license reviewed and potentially revoked or restricted in some way. For example, your opening hours might be drastically reduced and you may have to limit, or even cease, certain activities. In the event of a serious breach, the police can even close down a premises that is in violation of the Licensing Act. It is a good idea to keep up to date and familiarise yourself with information regarding licensing regulations.

To operate a pub, you will require a premises as well as a personal license. A premises license authorises your pub to serve alcohol. A personal license, on the other hand, authorises an individual to sell or serve alcohol on behalf of a business that has a premises license.

Application Process And Appeals

The application process for a personal license and a premises license is relatively straightforward. For a premises license, you will have to contact your local council and submit an application form. This can either be submitted electronically or via post, and will require details such as personal information, your designated premises supervisor and information on your premises and its schedule. Once this has been done, the licensing authority will review your application over a 28-day period.

During this period, any authority or person can object to the premises license. If the licensing authority regards an objection as valid, they will hold a hearing and will either leave the license, as it is, make changes, or revoke it completely. In the event that you disagree with the licensing authority’s decision, you will have the right to appeal it.

For a personal license, you will also be required to submit an application to your local council. However, there are four requirements that you have to fulfil before your application will even be considered:

  1. Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Accredited qualification. You can obtain this by completing a training qualification with one of the accredited organisations listed by the Government.
  3. Discloser And Barring Service Check. You will have to apply for a basic DBS check, which will review your criminal record.
  4. Right To Work. Your right to work within the United Kingdom can be easily found by using this online tool from the Government website.

Upon satisfying these requirements, you can then submit your application. As with a premises license application, your application for a personal license might be changed or revoked if you do not fulfil one of the aforementioned requirements or if something is flagged up during your DBS check. If you have any objections, then you can appeal the decision.

In either case, you will have to appeal within 21 days of receiving a decision from the licensing authority. The appeal should be in writing, and addressed to the local magistrate’s court of wherever the premises is based. When the court hearing has come to an end and a final decision has been made, you won’t be able to appeal against it again.

Stocking Your Pub

Once the legal aspects of owning a pub have been addressed, it is time for you to stock your pub. Stocking your pub requires careful management, especially when looking for suppliers and reviewing your stock.

As far as suppliers are concerned, there are countless suppliers to choose from. There are sprawling national corporations and reputable regional suppliers, as well as independent merchants and small artisan businesses. Each supplier will have their own approach to crafting and providing alcoholic beverages, and it is important that you do your research so that you can begin to build connections with suppliers that align with your vision for your business.

Stocktaking should never be overlooked either. It ensures that you can monitor and optimise overall profits, minimise loss, understand your customer’s preferences as well as reduce waste. Of course, it can be a time consuming and complex task, which is where stocktaking software comes in. It will automate most of the process for you, giving you the flexibility to review your stock, identify shortages and analyse your sales whenever you want to. This Software is affordable, and offers a monthly subscription fee for a number of packages.

Pub Insurance

There is no doubt that owning a pub requires dedication, commitment and passion. From licensing laws to managing your stock, it is a complex operation that is built on hard work. It makes sense, therefore, that you would want to protect your business from any potential liabilities. Whether it is ensuring the safety of your staff and customers, accounting for damage to your building or protecting your stocks, there are so many considerations that a pub owner has to take into account.

Fortunately, a pub insurance policy will cover all of these concerns, and so much more. As a pub owner, your circumstances are unique to you, which is why a standard policy won’t be sufficient. A tailored pub insurance policy, on the other hand, will assure you that you and your business will be covered financially, in the event that anything were to happen to your premises, your staff or customers, or your stock. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the complexities of business insurance and help you make informed decisions.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a digital marketing masters graduate with extensive customer service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a marketing executive at Brisco Business.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

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