If your business sells alcohol to other businesses you must check now to see if you need to register with HMRC for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) by 31 March 2016 or you may get a penalty and risk trading illegally.

Existing alcohol wholesalers, who do not apply for registration by the deadline risk penalties of up to £10,000 and possible seizure of stock or a criminal conviction.

If you are a sole trader you must have a Government Gateway ID for an individual and have signed up for Self Assessment online service. If you haven't done this you will need to log on to HMRCs New User registration and follow the on screen instructions.  An activation code will be sent and once you have activated it you will be able to apply for AWRS online.

If you are a Limited Company look at Excise Notice 2002 section 6.6 and 6.7 for full guidance on how to apply.

There are simple flowcharts and detailed guidance for all wholesalers including a recorded AWRS webinar to help you to decide.

Don't run the risk of being hit with penalties. Find out now whether you need to apply.