Industry sector:

Public house: Payments to creditors

When you buy supplies on account instead of paying cash there and then, your suppliers are your creditors until you pay them. Enter in your cash flow forecast the payments you will make to your creditors (including VAT) in the months in which you will pay them. For maximum convenience you will probably aim to set up an account with each of your major suppliers, which might include:

  • national and regional brewers
  • wine merchants
  • independent wholesalers to the licensed trade
  • catering suppliers

If you are a tenant or lessee you will be obliged to buy a certain amount of beer and other specified products from the property owner or their nominated supplier.

Setting up an account

To set up an account you may be asked to provide bank and trade references and until the account facility has been granted you will have to pay for your order at the time you place it. This is known as paying on a pro forma basis.

Once your account has been set up you will be invoiced at regular intervals, for example fortnightly for beer purchases, monthly for wines, spirits, food and soft drinks.


You may be able to negotiate discounts from your suppliers for buying stock in large quantities. For example, you might be eligible for per barrel discounts provided you achieve previously agreed barrelage targets.

Alcohol wholesaler registration

Be aware that, since April 2017, you need to make sure that all of your alcoholic drinks suppliers are registered with HMRC under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme.