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HMRC internal manual

Beer Guidance

Legal Entity: Types of legal entity


Any two or more persons subscribing their names to a memorandum and complying with the requirements of the Companies Act 1985 may form a company.


A partnership involves a contract between the partners to engage in business with a view to profit. Each partner may be liable in the event of an offence, so it is important that the full name of each partner should appear on legal documents such as registration applications and certificates.

Sole proprietor

An individual running a business which is not a partnership or company. Sole proprietors should be registered in their own name, not their business name or trading style.

On rare occasions there may be other forms of legal entity that wish to register as brewers such as clubs and associations, charities etc. Please contact the EPT for clarification if you are unsure of the correct legal entity to be registered.