Council chiefs in Greater Manchester have set a proposed timetable for adopting a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol.
Bosses of the 10 local authorities, which make up the Greater Manchester Authorities Health Commission, have decided to draw up a proposal looking at the possibility of using a bylaw to set a price for drink.
"In principle, we have agreed to look at what the implications are of setting a minimum price," said a spokesman.
"We will look at a range of issues from legal to social to economic and then take a view of what we should do.
"We need to also consider what the knock-on effects of that would be. The health committee will report back to the executive on 29 October when the council chief executives will decide how they wish to proceed."
The idea of using a by law to set a minimum price is at a "very early stage" at present. "We need to see if it is a sensible way forward," he said.
Stockport Council chief executive Eamonn Boyles added: "We want to test the possibility of what would a bylaw look like, what would local authorities have to do, how would we implement it and what would the impact of that be on trading standards for example?"
Legal expert Peter Coulson said: "I am concerned about local authorities jumping the gun. I think they would fall foul of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition law.
"The OFT has already warned the police on trying to set a minimum price."
The Home Office is currently consulting on a ban on below cost sales at supermarkets.