At The Federation Of Licensed Victuallers Association we are here to help you in your business venture as a self employed Licensees in any manner of ways from the initial business plan, through to assistance with rental negotiations, renewals of your agreement and any employment issue you may have whilst running the business.
Here is the very briefest summary of the styles of agreement and licences you will encounter as you look towards joining the industry.
A premises licence is issued under the Licensing Act 2003 and allows a premises to sell alcohol, provide regulated entertainment, such as live entertainment, dancing or serve late night refreshment on commercial premises.
Each property must have on display a copy of its premises licence which will detail the times during which the above activities are allowed to take place on the premises and any conditions which are attached.
The licensing of individuals under their own personal licence separately from the licensing of premises permits the movement of personal licence holders from one set of premises to another, allowing greater flexibility.
A personal licence relates, then, to the individual. A premises licence represents a separate entity and relates to the licensed premises themselves as outlined above.
Applicants for personal licences will need to obtain an accredited qualification first. This is known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) and replaces the previous NCPLH. Details of providers in your area will be found by searching ALPH on the internet The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities attached to the sale of alcohol. This along with a police CRB check enables an individual to apply to the local authority in the area in which they live to get a personal licence. This licence lasts for 10 years
All premises licences authorising the supply of alcohol must have an identified personal licence holder known as the designated premises supervisor. This ensures there is always one specified individual who can be readily identified at the premises where a premises licence is in force. This person will usually be responsible for the day-to-day running of the premises. More than one individual at the premises may hold a personal licence, although it is not necessary for all staff to be licensed. But, all supplies of alcohol under a premises licence must be made by or under the authority of a personal licence holder.
Before you enter into the trade you should be aware that there are differing ways of doing this.
You can be employed as a Manager by the owner of the business, which means that you will have a contract of employment spelling out your duties and responsibilities as dictated by the owner. You may need to provide a security bond for your employer so a small level of capital may be required.
Tenancies at Will are a short term agreement where you pay your landlord a rent for the business, and you will be self employed. They provide no security and should be used as an interim step into another agreement. You will require some funds to provide security deposits, rents in advance and to purchase stock and glassware.
You could enter into a Tenancy which are typically agreements with a short period of tenure around 3-5 years. Again as with Tenancy at Will you pay your landlord a rent for the business, and you will be self employed. Tenants are likely to be “tied” for a range of drinks and other services with the owning Company responsible for the upkeep parts of the property. Such agreements may provide you with security, or the tenancy may be for a set period of time at which point your agreement ends. This style of agreement may also allow for you or your Landlord to terminate the agreement after a predetermined notice period. You should ensure you are fully aware of which category of tenancy you are being offered. Within a Tenancy agreement you can dictate the business and marketing plan for your property as you wish. As with the tenancy at will you will require some capital to enter into this agreement.
The other usual agreement is that of a Lease. As with the agreements you pay your landlord a rent for the business, and you will be self employed. A wide variety of lease agreements are available, varying in length from five years upwards. Leases usually come with greater repairing obligations on the lessee and a tie for a range of drinks and services. Leases can be sold (assigned) during the period of tenure and this would enable a successful lessee to capitalise on the goodwill he has brought to the business. Leases usually offer a fully secure period of tenure but will not as a rule have a notice period within them to allow you to surrender the agreement and give the property back to your landlord. As with the tenancy at will you will require some capital to enter into this agreement.
In the 2 styles of Tenancy and even more within the Lease agreements you will have responsibilities towards your staff and to your landlord that is renting you the business to you which you need to be aware of.
We are here to help and give advice on all aspects of Tenancy and Leasing arrangement and more detail is included within our members area. See the FLVA GREEN PAPER
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