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Old 28.06.2012, 16:50
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Selling / giving away alcohol - license needed?

Hi all,

knowing how much you all like beer and alcohol and the like, and how some of you are involved in alcohol-selling establishments I thought one of you might know the answer to this little question.

We are having a party - for an organisation in Basel - a celebration party, where there will be lots of fun stuff to do. We are selling tickets to the party - in order to have a handle on how many people are coming but also to recoup some of the costs (by no means all - it's very much a "nominal" fee).

We planned to offer a celebration drink to everyone as they arrive - because it's a celebration after all. We wanted to offer a choice of a beer or a prosecco or a non-alcoholic drink.

Now, the question is - do we need an alcohol selling license for that? We have sold tickets - which in some way "include" a drink - although that's not actually stated on the ticket, it is mentioned in the advertising. But on the other hand we are not actually selling alcohol - no money will be exchanging hands on the day and it will not be possible to "purchase" drinks - basically you walk in, get your glass of whatever and that's it. There won't even be any tokens or anything.

And what about if people bring their own alcohol? Presumably that is OK? So if for example we removed all mention of alcohol from the advertising and then I happened to turn up with a keg of beer and happened to share it with all my friends at the party, would that be OK or is the fact that we sold a ticket still counted as selling alcohol? Opinions please.

Oh, and if it turns out that we need a license, I even don't know who to contact for that? Is there a special department (Gemeinde level, Kantonal level?)

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 28.06.2012, 17:00
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Hi all,

knowing how much you all like beer and alcohol and the like, and how some of you are involved in alcohol-selling establishments I thought one of you might know the answer to this little question.

We are having a party - for an organisation in Basel - a celebration party, where there will be lots of fun stuff to do. We are selling tickets to the party - in order to have a handle on how many people are coming but also to recoup some of the costs (by no means all - it's very much a "nominal" fee).

We planned to offer a celebration drink to everyone as they arrive - because it's a celebration after all. We wanted to offer a choice of a beer or a prosecco or a non-alcoholic drink.

Now, the question is - do we need an alcohol selling license for that? We have sold tickets - which in some way "include" a drink - although that's not actually stated on the ticket, it is mentioned in the advertising. But on the other hand we are not actually selling alcohol - no money will be exchanging hands on the day and it will not be possible to "purchase" drinks - basically you walk in, get your glass of whatever and that's it. There won't even be any tokens or anything.

And what about if people bring their own alcohol? Presumably that is OK? So if for example we removed all mention of alcohol from the advertising and then I happened to turn up with a keg of beer and happened to share it with all my friends at the party, would that be OK or is the fact that we sold a ticket still counted as selling alcohol? Opinions please.

Oh, and if it turns out that we need a license, I even don't know who to contact for that? Is there a special department (Gemeinde level, Kantonal level?)

Thanks in advance for any help
I know a film studio in Schlieren ZH who used to have some parties with paid entrance. One time the Police turned up & wanted to come in, the girl on the door said they could only come in if they paid first! They only were interested in fire exits!
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Old 28.06.2012, 17:10
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Re: Selling / giving away alcohol - license needed?

Friends of mine from school used to run parties, not to make money actually, but they wanted to recover their cost of course (surplus was spent on a staff dinner).

What they needed to do was to establish a "Verein" and indeed needed an alcohol licence (if I remember correctly, they had to establish a business plan as well for the licence) to serve it at the bar.

Best bet is to ask in your Gemeinde!
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Old 29.06.2012, 19:32
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Re: Selling / giving away alcohol - license needed?

So, just in case anybody actually ever searches for such a thing.... we popped down the Gemeinde today and the answer is the NO we don't need any permission or license. As the party is on private property and we are not selling alcohol to the general public, but actually our own club members are paying, it's perfectly OK. We only need permission of the person who owns the land (which we have).

Excellent result For once something in CH does not cost a bunch of cash and days of processing!
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