In the guide
On-premises selling covers the sale of goods, services or digital content from your business premises
- mobile premises that are routinely located in the same place
- market stall
This is a complicated area and more detail is provided in the 'Consumer contracts: on-premises sales' In-depth Guide.
If you sell at a distance (online, for example) or away from your business premises, you will also need to read the other relevant In-depth Guides - 'Consumer contracts: distance sales' and 'Consumer contracts: off-premises sales' - to avoid tripping up over this legislation.
This downloadable scenarios document will help you decide where contracts are made.
So what's it all about? Broadly speaking:
- you must provide consumers with certain information before the contract is made
- you must obtain the consumer's clear agreement if you want to charge for additional items (no pre-ticked boxes in the contract)
- customer helplines must cost no more than the basic rate
- you have obligations on delivery, including the point at which the consumer becomes responsible for the goods
You have obligations if you sell or supply consumers with goods or digital content that are not of satisfactory quality, not as described or not fit for purpose, or if you provide services that are below standard. You can find out more in the following Quick Guides: 'Goods', 'Digital' and 'Services'
What's not covered?
The Regulations are broad but there are some contracts they don't cover. These include package travel, timeshare and frequent regular deliveries of the same consumables, such as milk, to the customer's home. If you don't know whether you're covered, check the 'Consumer contracts: on-premises sales' In-depth Guide for a full list as there are important exemptions.Back to top
Information you must give
There is some very specific information you must give to consumers in a clear and understandable way before you enter into an agreement with them. This includes information on pricing, your trading address and complaint-handling policy.
The In-depth Guide has a table detailing the requirements.Back to top
You must always get the consumer's clear agreement if you want to charge an additional payment for something that is linked to the main contract - for example, gift-wrapping or quick delivery.
This means that you can't have a default option - such as special service add-ons already written into the contract - that makes it difficult for consumers to avoid payment. Consumers who have not agreed will not have to pay, and if they have paid they can claim a refund from you.Back to top
Helpline phone charges
If you provide a telephone helpline for consumers to contact you about goods, services or digital content they have bought, you can only charge the 'basic rate'. This means the normal geographic or mobile rate. Consumers who have paid more than the basic rate can claim the extra from you.Back to top
Delivery & risk
Unless you both agree otherwise, you must deliver the goods to the consumer. This should be on the agreed delivery date, without undue delay or not more than 30 days from the day the contract was made, depending on the contract.
You remain responsible for the goods until the consumer, or someone he has nominated, takes possession of them.
For more detailed information please see the In-depth Guides below. Once you've finished, make sure you look at the full range of Quick Guides to see whether there are any other areas of law that affect your business.
Make sure you choose your location using the drop-down list at the top of the page. The In-depth Guides provide country-specific information as some laws are different in England, Scotland and Wales, and some are enforced differently
In-depth guidanceThis is a general guide and you may well need to know more; take a look below where we've listed our In-depth Guides on specific topics related to on-premises sales
When dealing with consumers you must ensure that you act fairly; you must provide accurate information and avoid business practices that are unfair, misleading or aggressive
Find out how to tell your customers about their legal rights and your goodwill returns policy when they buy goods from you.
Large retailers are required to charge for most new single-use carrier bags they supply
Understand what your obligations are – under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – when a consumer buys goods from you
Contract terms are not binding on consumers unless they are fair
Understand what your obligations are – under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – when you supply digital content to a consumer
Understand what your obligations are – under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 – when you supply services to a consumer