Buying a Pub, Restaurant or Licensed Property, Check List
an Essential Guide before you buy a Business,
This Check List has now changed to provide information for anyone that is looking to buy a business and change their life style. The original was made on the assumption that anyone taking a freehold, lease or a tenancy will have been fully briefed by their Solicitor on their responsibilities within the constraints of the lease and the lists are for guidance and assistance in the taking over of a normal licensed or catering business. However we have now decided to increase the information for potential buyers that have not consulted a solicitor
The requirements of taking over a Licensed Business are considerably more than an average Business, like a Retail Shop or small Trading Business, the information may appear excessive, but as a Check List it is invaluable, the exceptions are very specialised Businesses where the specialist requirements may or will not be covered.
In addition always use a Lawyer specialising in Commercial Property, it can be a minefield.
1. □ Advertising, check all vendors contracts and arrangements.
2. □ Always go for completion at the beginning of the month, helps cash flow.
3. □ Asbestos Report including old Artex Ceilings and Walls Check for More
4. □ Auto Enrolment, Staff Pensions 1. Check for More 2. Check for More
5. □ Bank business accounts Check for More
6. □ Barrel is 36 gallons, not to be mistaken for a 9, 11 or 22 gallon Casks
7. □ Beer Cellar confirm ownership of equipment and service history
8. □ Brewery Delivery time and other Delivery Days
9. □ Brulines if applicable, understand the way it works. Check for More
10. □ Cash and Carry Account Check for More
11. □ Cash and Change for Tills and Machines
12. □ Certification for all electrical appliances where applicable Check for More
13. □ Cellar Management, understand good cleaning methods Check for More
14. □ Charities Local
15. □ Cleaning Contracts and supplies for Toilets, Kitchens, Bars etc.
16. □ Close Business for at least mid-day
17. □ Cold Storage Check
18. □ Contract to buy Business, Signed and completion time.
19. □ Contracts of Employment for Staff Check for More
20. □ Deliveries on the Day
21. □ Delivery Days for all suppliers and order Days
22. □ Demographics
23. □ Diary for all Bookings and Incidents
24. □ EHO Registration and Food & Hygiene Certs, scores on the doors Check for More
25. □ Employment Law Hotline for Members LINK
26. □ Energy Suppliers, Annual Contract Check for More
27. □ Environmental Performance Certificate Check for More
28. □ Equipment details of any outstanding rented or financed
29. □ Epos Tills make sure you know how they work
30. □ External Notices for Car Parks and Gardens
31. □ Finance for completion
32. □ Fire safety equipment contract, Risk Assessment Check for More
33. □ First Aid Boxes with Accident Books.
34. □ First Aid training for Staff Check for More
35. □ Fixtures and Fittings, check quality and reject damaged fittings, if damaged since exchange of contracts, ensure that you have enough to equipment to trade with, many vendors remove equipment without realising that they have been paid for by the purchaser.
36. □ Gaming and music machines rental agreements.
37. □ Graph to record Day to Day Takings
38. □ Health and Safety Hotline for Members LINK
39. □ Heating Service Record for Boilers and any others
40. □ Inland Revenue if you have staff, ensure that you are registered Check for More
41. □ Insurance, Business and property, public Liability Check for More
42. □ Interview Staff Check for More
43. □ Inventory of everything included in the Purchase of the Business
44. □ Licensing and Gambling legislation, 24 hour Hot Line 0114 2600 344
45. □ Licences Pub and Machines, your Solicitor should have all the details
46. □ Local suppliers Accounts:- Butcher, Baker, Builders Merchant, Catering equipment, Computer Service, Dry Goods, Frozen and Fresh Food, Gaming Machines, Garage local, Greengrocer, Ironmonger, Local Brewers, Office Equipment, Plumber, Electrician, Refrigeration Engineer, Wine Supplier.
47. □ Operating schedule Check for More
48. □ Opening night free drinks and food initially.
49. □ PDQ Machines for Credit Card Check for More
50. □ Performing Rights and PPL Phonographic Performance
51. □ Personal Licence and designated Premises Supervisor, Check with your Solicitor
52. □ Pets, if you have any, where are they allowed.
53. □ Phone Numbers of Essential Contacts
54. □ Qualifications and Further Training LINK
55. □ Rates payable and dates
56. □ Refuse Collection and Waste Disposal
57. □ Recipes for all dishes
58. □ Regulations for Disabled Compliance Check for More
59. □ Service Contracts, Rodents, Equipment, Cleaning
60. □ Sky or other TV Contract and TV licences
61. □ Smoking legislation signs etc. Check for More
62. □ Snagging list and all queries
63. □ Staff Dress Code, if appropriate
64. □ Staff Job Description (Jobs Manual is worth considering)
65. □ Staff paperwork Inland Revenue, hours etc., your Accountant will advise.
66. □ Staff References
67. □ Staff Redundancy, Details of possible redundancy commitment for existing staff in cost, to you. Check for More
68. □ Stocktaker for wet and dry goods, do not accept out of date stock. Check for More
69. □ Telephone Details
70. □ Trading accounts for suppliers:-National Brewers, Gas supplies for Beer Cellar, Wines and Spirits, Services, Gas, Electricity, Oil etc., Cellar Equipment where applicable
71. □ VAT Registration Check for More
72. □ Website and email addresses, understand using Social Media.
73. □ Weights and measures signs and compliance Check for More
Allergens came in last year Read More
Note:- Everyone buying a commercial property, especially a lease should have a Schedule of Condition, to validate the state of condition PRIOR to the handover date. If there are outstanding wants of repair or decoration, then either the Landlord or the previous Lessee is responsible, if it is left until a later date, no action can be taken without documentary proof agreed with the Landlord or his Agent.
Any point that does not have More after it, which is not obvious, please refer to this link http://www.usenumberone.com/resources/information-for-reference-and-help/online-information-books/the-common-sense-guide-to-buying-a-licensed–catering–business/, it covers a whole range of points in the Check List and more.
If you find anything that you consider should also be in the Check List, please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, we appreciate your input, if it will help others.
If you would like a months free trial membership to USE (www.usenumberone.com) our main web site, to see if it is for you. We have a mass of information for members and non members, but we would like to turn it into a serious members organisation, to help small businesses and the self employed, especially people thinking of buying a business. If you need to use any of our supportive companies to act for you, we will give you free membership for a year, if you just want to use our information, we will be delighted to accept a subscription off you, it’s not expensive and only when you are sure that it is for you. Please email email@example.com and we will send you details, without obligation.
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