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This page is here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to host Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. It’s for your information only and includes summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
I plan to serve or provide alcohol as part of my experience - do I need any licences for that?
The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is tightly regulated in the UK.
If you would like to sell alcohol as part of your experience, you will need one or more licences to enable you to do this. You can find out more information about the types of alcohol licences available here, and it’s a good idea to contact your local council to find out more.
Selling alcohol includes situations where:
- Alcohol is sold for consumption on your premises (if, for example, you charge guests for a glass of wine that they drink at your home or at an event you’re organising) or to take off the premises (if, for instance, you charge guests for a gin-infusing workshop, where they get to infuse and take away their own bottle of gin).
- You are also considered to be selling alcohol when alcohol is included as part of an event price (for example, you charge for a meal that includes alcohol), or where you apply a hidden charge for alcohol (for example, you charge for a meal and offer “complimentary" alcohol, the cost of which is factored into the charge that guests pay for the meal).
Here are some examples of where the above considerations are likely to apply (but please double-check with your local authority):
- I want to host evening drinks and snacks at home to greet guests. I’d like to charge for this experience.
- I’d like to run a gin-infusing course. I’ll provide the gin and ingredients to guests OR guests will bring their own alcohol, and they’ll take a bottle of infused gin home.
Here are some examples of where the above considerations may not apply (but please double-check with your local authority):
- I’ll be serving alcohol at home. I’d like to let people bring their alcohol if they want to but I’d like to charge a corkage fee. This is considered to be a grey area and it’s a good idea to check with your local council.
- I’d like to bring guests on a visit to a couple of local bars.
- I’ll be serving meals at home - I’d like to let people bring and serve themselves their alcohol if they want to. I will not charge anything for this and the fee I charge for the meal covers the meal only.
- I’ll be serving meals at home - I’d like to serve one complimentary glass of alcohol to guests when they arrive. I’m not recovering my cost for this in a hidden charge.
What if my experience is BYO, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
You may not need a licence in this case, but we recommend you confirm the position with your local council.
If my experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes: age of guests and location.
- You should make sure that all attendees meet the minimum drinking age.
- It is not possible to drink alcohol in some public places.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing food, we recommend that you take a look at our information about experiences involving food. If your experience will involve combining alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour of an area), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
If you’re in any doubt, we recommend you get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for selling alcohol without the required licenses or serving alcohol to underaged persons, which may include financial penalties and the possibility of a custodial sentence.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).