Licensing Hub – Legal with Poppleston Allen

Selling alcohol online: what do the authorities expect from vendors?

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Licensing

Home deliveries of alcohol can be a useful revenue stream - but how simple is it to deliver alcohol to someone’s house?
  • Missed part one? Find out who can sell alcohol online and what licences vendors need to obtain here

Licensing authorities and the responsible authorities on whom an application is served will want to ensure that alcohol is being delivered to somebody who is over the age of 18.

By law, away from licensed premises, it is not an offence to deliver alcohol to somebody under the age of 18 on the door step of residential premises but the licensing objectives of protection of children from harm and this applies equally to delivering alcohol on someone’s doorstep as it does making the sale of alcohol in licensed premises.

The responsible authorities, in particular the police, trading standards, public health and the local agency responsible for child protection will want to make sure that there are appropriate safeguards built in to any permission to sell alcohol for home delivery so that orders are being placed by those aged 18 or over and only delivered to those who are aged 18 or over.


It is all very well a customer acknowledging online or giving credit card details over the phone placing an order that they are over the age of 18 but it is the delivery on the doorstep that is important and which will most interest the authorities.

Conditions would normally be sought that proof of age is required where anybody looks under the age of 25 is produced when alcohol is delivered and that those who have placed the order are then the recipients on the door step. Licensing authorities will expect comprehensive training for those who are undertaking the deliveries, a delivery log and also a log of refusals to be kept as a minimum.

Remember, while it may appear to be easy enough to deliver, do check the premises licence provides for home delivery, check restrictions around it and that you are thinking ahead of the game by providing the relevant safeguards if you need to either apply for a licence or vary your licence to provide for home delivery.

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

Related topics: Licensing law, Licensing Hub

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