There is no denying that the Covid-19 Pandemic has presented us with many unforeseen circumstances. Businesses such as pubs and restaurants are having to close their doors for an extended period of time. Hence the need to find more creative ways to continue making their sales and continuity of service while having to close their doors. Until then, selling alcohol online may be a vital lifeline for many businesses that are beverage-based.
As a website design and development agency, we have built many e-commerce websites, and are often asked on the legalities of the matter. As such, we have put together a quick guide to get you started with the information you need. So let’s get started, pen and paper ready?
When legally selling alcohol online, you will need a personal licence and a premises licence. A personal license permits you to manage and sell alcohol. Whereas a premises licence names your business premises as a place where the dispatch of alcohol can legally take place.
How to get a personal licence
Getting a personal licence is a two-step process:
- Applying for and obtaining the licence
Step 1: To get a personal licence, you’ll need to undertake a short training course and gain a licensing qualification, such as the Award for Personal Licence Holders.
Step 2: Once you’ve done this, you can apply for a personal licence through the licensing department of your local authority/council using this application form from Gov.UK website (if you’re under 18 or have a relevant criminal conviction you won’t be eligible for a personal licence).
For more information on how to obtain a personal licence to sell alcohol, take a look at the Gov.uk page.
How to get a premises licence
Once you have applied for your personal premises, you will need to obtain a premises licence. All businesses selling alcohol (except some members clubs and community premises) must have an appointed Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) that has been appointed for the relevant premises. This person must also hold a personal licence.
Along with your application form, you’ll need to submit a floorplan of your premises which highlights the areas where alcohol will be kept and handled.
You will also need to describe how your business will comply with the four licensing objectives. These are:
- Prevention of crime and disorder
- Prevention of public nuisance
- Protection of children from harm
- Public safety
Once you have your premises licence, as the personal licence holder you’ll need to take up the helm of the Designated Premises Supervisor; responsible for making sure all alcohol is handled, held and sold lawfully. You’ll be the first point of contact for authorities
Complying with UK law
It’s not enough to just hold the correct licences – it’s vital that you make sure your business is constantly trading in compliance with the law surrounding selling alcohol online. The key piece of legislation you’ll need to keep an eye on is ensuring you don’t sell to under-18s.
At the very least, you’ll need to have an over-18 declaration on your website and ask for the customer to verify their age at the point of purchase. You might also be required to have your delivery drivers ask for ID when they deliver the package.
Check with your local authority to find out the specifics of what they’ll require from you.
“If you’re launching a new product, do your due diligence. Check with your manufacturer, your partners, your suppliers. Google it then Google it again. Really, this should go for everything in your business.”
Now you’ve got the legalities out of the way, it’s time to build an online store for your alcohol. Make sure to take all the above into consideration and be aware that advertising alcohol online (or even taking payments for that matter) can be tricky! Do your due diligence, have your products, supplier, labelling, packaging and everything else in place and then make sure to contact an experienced web developer for your new site.
CFM Group Digital Marketing Agency
CFM GROUP has over 8 years of experience in the Website Development market. Just read our testimonials to know you are in good hands. Every single website we create is bespoke because no single client is the same. Getting to know your business and your exact needs are integral to producing a beautiful website that looks professional and sells your services or products to your target audience effectively.
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