What Legal Aspects Do You Need To Consider When Starting A Coffee Shop?

Starting your own coffee shop business can be an exciting venture. With the likes of Starbucks and Costa Coffee seeing huge amounts of success, it’s probably considered a great business to start up. Let’s face it, everyone needs a morning fix too! Whilst it’s exciting to think about all the coffee you could potentially sell, it’s important to remember the legal aspect of the business too. Here’s a legal checklist that you need to consider before you start to froth up them cappuccinos and mix that coffee.

Business Structure

As with any business that is first set up, you need to decide how you’re going to operate. Will you be operating as a sole proprietor or company, or will you be looking to form a partnership for your business? Whatever you decide you need to make sure that it suits you and your business. For example, if you have the benefit of expanding in the future you may be better to set yourself up as a sole company.


Will you be gaining support during your set up? A lot of businesses try to gain funding when they first start up. This is normally done through bank loans but consider researching alternative options that could also help. Ask as many questions as possible about loans you’re taking out before you commit to signing and understand what right you have with the loan.

Cafe Requirements

Food and safety standards will need to be addressed in your coffee shop. You’ll be selling food and drink to the public so it’s important that you’re able to meet the standards requirements of the relevant food safety organisations. Seating options are also another point to consider. Will you provide seating outside? If so, you’ll need a permit and consider the smoking regulations that come with it. A final consideration is your competition and your customers. Do some market research around your audience and what they want as well as what offers and products your competitors offer.


It’s important to speak to an insurance broker to set up insurance for your business. It’s crucial that this is set up, particularly Public Liability Insurance. You need to cover yourself and your business so that you can be reassured if something was to go wrong with it. Bank loans also consider your insurances so make sure you know what you require if you need to take one out.


If you’ve managed to get yourself a gem of a location, you may need some help around the coffee shop to service that customers that come in. This is where the legal aspects of your employees need to be considered. Will you be dealing with the salaries on your own? What is the legal limit of how many employees you can hire? Are you planning to hire locally or from overseas? In which case you’d need to consider UK visa requirements. All of these aspects need to be considered when hiring employees for your business. Help is always at hand through employment and corporate solicitors who can guide you through what you need to know.

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