Groups: eligibility to form a group
- In order to be an AWRS group, the group members must already meet the conditions for forming a corporate group. These conditions are:
- there must be more than one member
- all members must be corporate bodies (for example, limited companies or limited liability partnerships) that are established or have a fixed establishment in the UK
- all members must have a controlling body (see ‘control conditions’ below) in common with each other (i.e. a holding company).
- They must also meet the ‘control conditions’. All members of the group must be controlled either by one member of the group or a single other ‘person’ who is not one of the members of the group. That person can be a body corporate, an individual or a partnership.
Where control is exercised by a person that is a partnership, that control must be exercised via the partnership and not by the partners as individuals. The company shares will normally be assets of the partnership.
To control a group member one of the following must apply:
- they are the holding or parent company of the group member within the definition in s1159 of, and Schedule 6 to, the Companies Act 2006, or
- they would be a holding or parent company of the group member if they were a company, or
- they are empowered by statute to control that body’s activities.
- If the corporate group cannot meet these conditions they cannot be approved as an AWRS group. AWRS group members must also be carrying on a controlled activity.
In summary, provided the proposed AWRS group:
- meets the conditions for being a corporate group,
- meets the control conditions, and
- two or more of these corporate group companies are making qualifying wholesale sales of alcohol,
they can apply to be an AWRS group.