Do you need a licence to sell alcohol from a market stall?

Good afternoon

I am pondering a new business venture; but this may be dead-in-the-water dependant upon responses I receive to the following!...

Do you need a licence to sell alcohol (bottles/boxes of wine etc) from a market stall? (I hasten to add that this is for customers to purchase wine to take home - not to drink in the street!)

Working on a presumption that a licence will be required, does anyone know what costs are involved?

Many thanks in advance.



You do not need a licence to sell alcohol beer wine etc if you are trading as a shop. Only if you sell it to drink..


I had a market stall selling beers, pineau,spirits etc when I first came to France back in 2007. It was necessary for me to have a license for 'off sales' or 'emporter'. This was obtained from the local duoanes office, free of charge. Take passport and utility bill and any paperwork relevant to your business. It was a pretty painless task compared to many dealings with French authorities.

So if you want a number 3 liscence that can be obtained in the same manner.....or has it changed?

Sorry but that isn't correct, you do need a licence to sell alcohol from a shop. There are different licences for the sale only or sale and consumption on the premises ;-)

there is now a compulsory course to be completed before the licence is issued ;-)

you'll also need to set up your business with a siret etc etc and get a 'market traders' licence (75e i think) before you go on to the whole course thing x t

Thanks all to those who have responded.

Whilst it does sound like I will need a licence (and also Market Traders' Licence etc) I think it is going to viable.

really good luck Mark - i'm just about to start myself with a coffee stall - so please let us know how you get on! x t

@Teresa - I will do!

I had a lady set up stall closeby today who was selling cider and calvados among other Brittanny specialities.I asked her about license requirements .If it is take away sales ,the licence is free and just requires you to go to your local Mairie and fill in a form.There is one form for beer and cider and a second form for spirits.She got registered at the tailend 2015 .

Anyway ,go to your local Hotel de Ville and ask.

I have been asking exactly the same question for my food truck - see - so I went to the Préfecture. I learnt alot. Take away is easiest. I have the form for it right here (somewhere) would you like me to send it to you? Don't tell me, you want to sell / import all the fantastic New World wines that are so easily available in the UK to France, to sell to the expat community? Would it work? No, the expats like the cheap French wine (good wine for simply 2,50 ) and are dyed-in-the-wool Francophiles and are STILL mystified by the French regions / appellations / terroir thing ... I have a friend who is still totally charmed by Bordeaux and Médoc, Haut Médoc and St. Emilion!!!!

Selling Rosé wine? read "Rosé en Marché" the book by Jamie Ivey. I have a spare copy for 1 euro + postage if you would like it?

There is more to it than that. It is based on a numbers / ratio / coefficient according to a Code de la Santé Publique law. I for example wanted a Licence III and I was told that there were none left. This is yet another way in which the French shoot themselves in the foot by restricting trade! Oh yes, sooooo French! No wonder the French wine producers love their export markets! They depend on them.

I already have a pizza and COFFEE STALL. Any help you would like pls ask. Please see my photos of my stall / business on Facebook,

Here is typical shot of the Pizza Trailer, customers eating my pizza! and of course my fantastic coffee machine!

All advice welcome, I have 3 coffee machines, so have been round the block a little bit on this.

Anthony - thanks so much for adding your advice and help to this thread... the pizza's look spectacular! i know i'll be in touch with my multiple market questions! i'm off to see the Maires at the markets i want to trade at tomorrow - now i have my mountain of perfect paperwork! x t

Please 'Like' Hippo's River Café too! my e-mail, if you want to get in touch: freethehippo AT yahoo dot co dot uk. All the best,