What happens on the day of transfer?

What happens on the day that you take over a pub?

Let’s have a look at what actually happens on the day that you take over your new pub.

Stocktake / stock valuation

Both the vendor and the buyer need to agree the value of the stock that is about to transact, normally this is done by appointing an accredited Stocktaker.

Apart from actually checking the amount of stock; a stocktaker will make sure that the stock that you are buying is being sold for a fair price and that it is not out of date.

A stocktaker may also offer other services such as advice on profit margins and how to reduce waste with timely purchasing and storage.

If you are completing at the end of a month then book your stocktaker early, they get very busy at month-end and month beginning.

Fixtures and Fittings

Your stocktaker may provide a thorough inventory and valuation of all fixtures and fittings as well as checking that they are of serviceable quality or they should be able to recommend a valuer who would cover this for you, should this be required, such as in tenancy changes. In addition, they will check that any: electrical items have been PAT tested; gas appliances have been tested and have a current certificate; refrigeration units work and hold the right temperature; etc. You will be paying for the fixtures and fittings and need to be sure that everything is legal and can be used.

Gaming Machines

If there are gaming machines on the premises you will need to contact the company that looks after the gaming machines to let them know that you have taken over, speak to the vendor to ascertain the deal they are on so your newness to the business is not exploited.


On the day that you take possession, you will need to read all of the meters (gas, electric, water) and note down the meter numbers. Be aware that larger or older buildings may have multiple meters, particularly for electricity. Let the appropriate companies know what your initial readings are and that you have taken responsibility for the account from that day and would like it transferred to your name.

Your solicitor should have obtained the names of the suppliers and the old account numbers which you may need when transferring the account into your own name.

Alternatively, you can use an energy broker to negotiate the best deal for you for your utilities. Some stocktakers offer energy brokerage as an additional service.

Telecoms, Music and TV

Many people are still with BT. This could be an ideal opportunity to have a look who is providing telephone and broadband services in the area and perhaps to switch provider. If you do not wish to switch you will need to get the name of the current provider and the account number to let them know that you will be taking over the account from the transfer date.

Similarly, you will need to inform the PRS that you have taken over the premises and assumed responsibility for the music licence.

Also, if you show Sky or BT television you will need to inform them that you are taking over the accounts.


The absolute legal minimum insurance for you to be able to operate is:

  • Public Liability insurance
  • Employers Liability insurance for pubs

But you may also want to consider:

  • Product Liability insurance for public houses
  • Contents cover
  • Loss of Licence cover
  • Business Interruption cover
  • Cash on Premises cover
  • Personal Assault or Employee Assault cover
  • Legal Expenses cover

It is best to approach a company or broker specialising in pub insurance or insurance for licensed businesses as they will be best able to advise you and provide an insurance package tailored to your particular needs.

On the day that you take over, inform your insurance company so that your cover can start.

Don’t Open

We would strongly advise that you do not open for business on the day that you take over.

Furniture will be being moved in and out, the property may need to be thoroughly cleaned, you may want to rebrand, etc. Even with the best planning, there are lots of things that can go wrong at the last minute. Having the added stress of trying to open to the public on the same day is not something that we would recommend.


The day that you take over your pub will be a long day, a tiring day but it is a great day. The start of a new venture and a new chapter of your life. Take time to step back and appreciate all that you have achieved.


If you need help with stocktaking we would recommend our Solutions Partner, Stirling Stock Auditors, who will be able to help with many of the above items.