More than bricks and mortar

Adam Riley, 7th June, 2019

Buying licensed premises might seem like a simple property transaction but there can be a lot more to it than that. Here we explore some of the considerations you should be aware of before making the plunge.

Where licensed premises are concerned, it can be quite a bit more complicated than simply acquiring the bricks and mortar. That's why you need specialist lawyers who have the experience, expertise and the strength in depth to help you with the other issues that can crop up and so that you can make important decisions with confidence.

At Gosschalks we have over 30 years’ experience providing a one-stop-shop to buyers and tenants of licensed premises. Whether it be major national operators with thousands of properties or single or multiple-site operators we have the capabilities to look after your every need.

The benefit to you of this full-service approach is that we can help with every aspect of your purchase from the property itself; through to providing licensing advice; help with commercial and trading agreements as well as ensuring that you are aware and prepared in respect of the potentially problematic employment issues which can accompany licensed premises.

Given the vast knowledge we have at our disposal, we understand your industry incredibly well but we won't confuse you with jargon - we get straight to the point and ensure that you receive all of the advice you need, when you need it. Our approach is borne out of the fact that many of our team members have themselves held positions within the licensed trade at some stage in their careers. As a result, they are able to understand and deal pragmatically with many of the issues and challenges which can crop up during a transaction.


Partner and head of the licensed leisure team in commercial property, Andrew Bell notes:

“When approaching the purchase of licensed premises many people envisage a simple and straightforward transaction, similar to purchasing or leasing a house or standard commercial unit. The reality is that this is a niche and specialist area and we have a dedicated team who deal with all of the commercial property considerations which the prudent buyer or tenant will need to address. In addition to this, the strong personal and professional relationships we have with our colleagues in licensing and employment mean that we are able to ensure that your transaction is dealt with harmoniously and efficiently.”


Head of Licensing, Richard Taylor, adds:

“The licensing aspects of an acquisition are often overlooked and failure to understand the terms of a licence or to submit the correct applications can be catastrophic for the business. Due to our experience within the sector, the knowledge we have of both licensing requirements in particular areas and our existing relationships with the authorities, we are well-placed to provide due diligence checks and advice prior to acquisition and to ensure that the right applications are submitted upon completion to ensure a seamless transition to a new operator.”


Ted Flanagan, head of employment comments:

“If you are taking existing premises where they have staff the TUPE may apply – these are legal rules that say you have to take those staff on. This can come as a surprise late in the day if you are not aware of it. What can be even more of a shock is that TUPE can still apply even where the premises have been shut for a while!”


Of course, some transactions can be fairly straightforward or certainly appear that way. Using a specialist law firm with multi-disciplined teams ensures that you are prepared for whatever happens and that you can be confident throughout. Once your transaction is complete, at Gosschalks we provide on-site facilities to securly store and manage your title deeds so that we can provide ongoing advice and guidance on all your estate management needs.

Interested?

Get in touch with Adam Riley from our Licencsed Property team to find out more about how we can help you make the necessary next steps when starting or adding to your licensed portfolio.

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