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Pubs and Bars
Even after years of declining numbers, there are still 53,000 pubs and bars in the UK which represents a sizable sector in the UK economy.  

Hundreds of these change hands each year and there is no shortage out there of people wanting to buy pub businesses.  Usually buyers intend to run the pub or bar business themselves once they've purchased it.  


The Legal Process

You can find out a lot more detail about the process of selling a business on our page in this website called The Sale of Business Process.  

There will be a whole lot of issues that need to be sorted out by your solicitor.  These will include the sale of business contract; sorting out the transfer of any premises; dealing with enquirers from your buyer's solicitors and making sure that assets, including the business goodwill, are property and legally transferred in a way that leaves you free of any claim for refunds or claims for compensation.

Below are some particular issues that will specifically concern you as someone selling a pub business.


Tied Lease    

If your business is one of about 12,000 pubs with a tied lease then this could potentially lead to complications.  Your landlord will pay particularly close attention to the person you want to sell to and they may have to even go on a course and having meeting with management from your landlord.  Plus of course many tied leases have onerous terms that some buyers might be put off by.  Under new rules that came in under a code of practice in 2016, it may in some cases be possible to sever the tie and gain other more favourable terms.  So this issue is arguably not such a problem as it was previously.  

It is also not uncommon with a tied lease that your landlord inspects the premises and required repairs and maintenance issues to be addressed before giving consent to any assignment of the lease.  

 


Alcohol Licence 

The sale of your business will need to include the premises licence being transferred over to your purchaser.  This is all well and good but of course they will need to be fit and proper people in the eyes of the licensing authority and also of course they must employ their own designated premises supervisor.  In some cases it might be that you would stay on as their DPS for a certain period of time to smooth things over and until they recruited their own or got trained up. 

 

 


Stock  

You are likely to be carrying a large value of stock at the time of sale.  This will have to be tallied up and valued as it is likely to be worth a fair amount.  There are valuers who specialise in pub stock and especially if you're a larger pub it may well be worth while having a third party undertake the valuation.  You don't want to find yourself undervaluing for want of spending a few hundred pounds on an expert.  


 

Staff 

It is likely that most of your staff will be part-time or casual workers.  You may also employ family.  Normally staff transfer automatically under the Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE) regulations but this may not apply to members of your family who have no intention of working after the sale.  Its also important to have written contracts of all your staff, even the casual ones, as this will same time when the sale is going through.  


Further Information or If You Need a Solicitor for the Sale of Your Pub Business

Please contact us today with any enquiries you have; for more information about the process or if you need a solicitor for selling your pub business.

You can contact us by email, by completing the contact form on this webpage or by phoning us completely free of charge and without obligation on 0800 1777 522


Call us for free on 0800 1777 522


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