Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Off-licence: Rent

Enter in your cash flow forecast the amount of rent you will have to pay for your shop premises in the months when you will have to pay it.

When it comes to choosing premises you'll need to think about your requirements and consider what you can afford. For example, if you're planning to combine off-licence sales with general convenience retailing then something like a corner shop location in a residential area could be ideal. A reasonable amount of passing trade may also be important. On the other hand, if you're thinking of trading as a wine merchant then you might need more space, but passing trade and proximity to residential areas may not be so important. You'll probably need to have a reasonable amount of parking available nearby though - customers buying wine by the case won't want to have to carry it too far. Of course, the best locations are often the most expensive - so it may have to be a compromise between what you would like and what you can afford.

If you have not yet decided on a particular premises you could contact a local estate agent who handles commercial property to get an idea of how much the rent is likely to be.

Bear in mind your premises should be accessible to customers and staff who are disabled.

Alcohol is a popular target with thieves and you will need to make sure that you can keep your premises secure. This is likely to be a licensing condition.

Your solicitor will help you with the lease agreement but make sure that you are clear about:

  • whether the premises can be used to sell alcohol
  • how frequently the rent will be reviewed
  • how long the lease runs for
  • what you and the landlord are each responsible for
  • the position as regards sub-letting