Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

Variations and conditions: due diligence when buying an alcohol business as a going concern

Anyone buying a business after 1 April 2017 should ensure that they have taken appropriate steps to ensure they do not inadvertently purchase stock that is illicit. The sale of stock in such circumstances will not give rise to the need for a non-approved alcohol business to become approved as it constitutes an incidental sale.

You should look to ensure that the purchaser has:

  • Asked the vendor to provide details of the stock they purchased and
  • Satisfied themselves that stock purchased by the vendor after 1 April 2017 was purchased from an approved wholesaler. They can do this by checking that purchase invoices for this stock feature the AWRS number for the wholesaler from whom it was bought. Together with information on the due diligence checks the business vendor carried out, this should give the purchaser the information they need to use the look-up service to satisfy themselves that stock was bought from an approved wholesaler.