Setting up a new alcohol brand – your guide to licences, storage & fulfilment

If you’re a new alcohol brand, below is a guide to what you need to think about in the early stages of launching your business.
Alcohol licences and fulfilment

Contents


What alcohol licences do you need?

Your personal alcohol licence

Before your business can begin selling alcoholic products, you must have a personal licence. The personal licence is designed to ensure that anybody running or managing a business that sells or supplies alcohol will do so in a professional fashion.

How to apply for a personal licence

In order to apply, you must be aged 18 years or over, and hold a relevant licensing qualification. Gov.uk has a list of accredited personal licence qualification providers. We strongly recommend you read the guidance on gov.uk on alcohol licensing. 

Once you have that qualification you can complete and submit the application form on this link.

Alcohol premises licence

When you choose Vdepot as your fulfilment partner, we apply for a premises licence under your company name & our address so that we can legally store your products. 

This involves a few steps, but we can oversee this process for you – there will just be a couple of forms for you to complete.

The steps include locally advertising the fact that we’ve applied for the licence; taking out an advert in the local newspaper, notifying local authorities, and displaying a notice in a window of our premises for 28 days.

We have gone through this process lots of times and hold premises licences for several different alcohol brands. 

Why does Vdepot need to apply for a separate premises licence?

Some fulfilment providers will tell you that they don’t need to apply for a premises licence in your name, because they have their own licence. 

Although this will save you set-up time, this is very risky in the long-term.

The risk you are taking here is that, if any other alcohol brands fulfilled by them break the law, that fulfilment provider will then lose their licence and will immediately have to stop fulfilling your orders as well as the other alcohol brands they work with. 

The alcohol premises license takes 4-8 weeks to be processed by the council before we can store and fulfil orders. However, we can usually start fulfilling your orders 2 working days from the licence going through. 


What else do I need to consider as an alcohol brand?

Adequate packaging

Have you finalised the packaging for your products? We advise that the goods need to be packaged and protected as well as possible given that couriers do not accept responsibility for loss or damage to glass or liquid items.

Fridge/freezer storage

Do your products need to be frozen or refrigerated? If so, we will need to bring in a suitable fridge or freezer in advance to accommodate your products. We can chat you through this process, and arrange this while waiting for the council to process the premises licence. 

Inventory Management

Our dedicated team can run quality assurance checks, date rotation, batch/serial control and product range management services on your inventory, and ensure you have easy access to all of this data in your MyVdepot account.

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