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Consider the legal issues before you pop up


A pop-up shop might be temporary – but it isn’t without obligation…

A few weeks ago I came across an article on a United Kingdom website which discussed what legal issues to consider before opening a pop-up – submitted by an associate* in the real estate team at Weightmans LLP in Liverpool (UK) and published on the business pages of

The article started me thinking… what should be the minimum legal considerations for a person launching their pop up business ? I’m certainly no expert in law – but I’d suggest there are several aspects to investigate carefully before making a commitment to pop up.

Permits and registrations may be needed – sometimes only with the local Council but there may be other authorities too. You should check requirements with the Council (to see if a property has the appropriate zoning and permits) – especially if the pop up involves any kind of food and/or service of alcohol…But also consider your statutory obligations for the use of copyrighted brands and images, or public broadcast of music etc…

As suggested in the BigHospitality article, if you’re a temporary (pop-up) tenant you may come across widely-differing conditions within the leases (or licences) of properties being considered – eg. rental costs which include outgoings (or not…), limited rights to access and also a variety of conditions on the property uses and exit options – as well as requirements for you to re-instate a property to its’ pre-pop-up appearance (or not…). It’s important to check the fine-print !

Obviously you’ll have health and safety obligations (to provide a suitable venue for customers and staff) and you should take out adequate insurances (public liability, some level of property and stock insurance). If you’re employing people you should be aware of their WorkCover and superannuation entitlements.

As the author of the BigHospitality article concludes – “the legal process can be complex and confusing, so it can be helpful to seek legal advice to ensure you are following the correct protocol…”

Finally, if you’re a pop-up business (here today and gone tomorrow) – what will be your policy on complaints and returns ? Many pop ups close shop and disappear overnight, leaving frustrated customers in their wake (and a slur on the whole pop-up genre) Hopefully you’ll provide an easy solution for customers who may have a grudge – or just want to stay in contact. Sometimes it’s as simple as posting a website / email address in the window of the venue and asking your landlord to leave it there for a few days…


* author of the BigHospitality article, Amanda Hurst is a solicitor with experience in UK residential (landlord and tenant) and commercial property law.

Source : / Business / What legal issues to consider before opening a pop-up


Disclaimer : The BigHospitality article applies to pop up situations within the United Kingdom… and I’m no expert in Australian (or UK…) law. I’d recommend you seek your own independent and qualified legal advice before entering into the contracts and obligations of a pop up store !


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