Rules and regulations
To sell alcohol for consumption on your premises you must have a licence, which is awarded by the local magistrates. You must be over 18 years old, have no criminal record, prove that you are a ‘fit and proper’ person and understand your legal and social responsibilities.
Most licensing benches advise candidates to hold a BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) National Licensee’s certificate. Although this is not a guarantee of success, it will prepare you for the application. If you plan to develop the catering side, you will also need to contact the local environmental health department to ensure that you meet their standards.
If you are entering a tenancy or lease the landlord will often run an induction course for people. As well as covering the licence application, this will also introduce you to all the skills you need to run a business successfully, including legal skills; financial management; marketing; beer and cellar skills and food hygiene. There are also training courses for experienced licensees.
Although you will be a wine bar owner you are also an innkeeper, and it is perhaps worth considering becoming a member of the BII. This is the professional body of the licensed trade with 15,000 members benefiting from business advice, free helplines, credit card savings and subsidised training courses.