Interested in running a pub business? With the right hard work and dedication, it can be incredibly rewarding. However, before you can open your doors to start serving customers, you need to make sure you’ve got the right licences or your new business venture could land you in some legal hot water.
This guide discusses what pub licences you are legally required to have, alongside some helpful additions that will make the day-to-day running of your establishment easier. Whether you’re opening your first location or seventh, this is all the information you need about the licences required to run a pub.
Pre-Entry Awareness Training (PEAT) is unarguably the most important qualification needed when opening a pub. It is a legal requirement and prepares prospective tenants who are considering signing a pub tenancy with all the knowledge they need to understand their agreement.
When training is complete, learners should have a solid foundation in business planning and pub management to inform them before signing any final agreements. It will also provide information on how and when to seek legal advice in the potential future scenarios.
Any business or individual intending to sell or supply alcohol is legally required to have an alcohol licence. You need not just one but two alcohol licences before alcohol can feature on your menu: a premises licence and a personal licence.
A premises licence authorises your establishment to buy and sell alcohol, while a personal licence allows specific individuals to serve alcohol on licenced premises. For the latter, you will need to pass a DBS check, which will cost you £23 on top of a £37 fee when applying for the qualification.
If you want to broaden your pub offerings and start selling food, then you need to register with the Food Standards Authority at least 28 days before you start trading. It is free to register and this is another legal requirement so failure to do so could result in a hefty fine.
The FSA will provide support on how to sell, handle, store and prepare food products, alongside risk assessments and allergen management.
With all the legal requirements out of the way, there are still some other factors you may need to consider. Insurance is one factor to bear in mind since accidents are more likely when mixed with alcohol. Flexible public house insurance could be an option to help manage the daily risks and challenges faced by your pub.
Customer service is another critical element of running a successful pub. You need to be a real people person, as well as have skills in cellar management, finance and marketing.