Starting an Off-licence

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: November 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Independent off-licences supply a range of alcoholic drinks for consumption off the premises, and a selection of other stock such as cigarettes, soft drinks, mixers, snacks and sweets. Faced with increasing competition from supermarkets and off-licence chains, many off-licences stock a unique range of wines, spirits and beers and employ staff with specialist product knowledge.

It is a legal requirement for all proprietors of off-licences in the UK to hold the relevant licences before they start trading. Licensing requirements differ depending on whether the business is located in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

There are strict rules surrounding the sale of alcohol and cigarettes, and the drinks trade has been particularly affected in recent years by health and social policies aimed at cutting smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as by cut-price competition from supermarkets.

This profile provides information about starting up and running an off-licence. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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