I was asked the other day “does a drink business need to be registered with the local authority”? My answer was yes, it is a question that I have been asked several times before.
One of these times was by the supplier of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks to a large council. Their argument was that as a supplier to the registration body for their area, surely they would have been asked for the registration before.
All I can say is that the due diligence clearly wasn’t that strong for the council in question. As far as I was concerned the business was operating illegally, and I did not want them in my supply chain until they were operating legally. A mere formality was the answer that came back, followed by a sheepish admission that the regulatory visit was going to take at least a day.
It was sorted out eventually, but the threat of holding onto invoices for longer periods, until they were legal, I feel sure had something to do with it.
How does a drinks business register with a local authority?
If you decide to operate drinks business, you will need to register as a drinks business with your local authority. The link is here. There is no charge and you cannot be refused registration. In the link there is useful information to help you to decide if you need to register or not. Examples such as businesses involved with food distribution or supply that operate from an office should register – even if no food (or drink)is kept at the premises and an indication of the penalties available to the courts if you operate a business without registering.
(Top Tip – for food, read drink)