Introduction : How to Start a Mobile Bar Business

Are you passionate about mixology but the traditional brick-and-mortar establishment doesn’t tick all your boxes? Perhaps it’s time to take things into your own hands – literally. The mobile bar business is gaining traction as a unique and flexible way to bring the party wherever the people are. This detailed guide is for the spirited entrepreneur in you who’s eager to shake up the business world with a mobile bar venture.

What do I include in my mobile bar business plan?

Before you pour your first drink, the groundwork must be laid. A solid business plan is your recipe for success. It should detail your business concept, target market, service offerings, financial projections, and marketing strategy.

Mobile Bar Business Plan Checklist

  1. Executive Summary: A snapshot of your business that effectively summarizes your vision and strategy.
  2. Market Analysis: Insight into the event industry, drinking preferences, and competitors in your area.
  3. Business Organization: Define your business structure, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC.
  4. Products and Services: The types of bars and services you will offer.
  5. Marketing and Sales: Your plan to attract clients and your sales process.
  6. Finances: Include start-up costs, operational expenses, and a break-even analysis.
  7. Funding Request: If you’re seeking investment or loans, outline how much you need and what you’ll use it for.
  8. Appendix: Any additional documents that support your business plan, such as licenses or insurance information.

How do I set up a mobile bar business?

Mobile Bar Business Registration

The first step is to register your business name and obtain all the necessary permits and licenses. Your business registration will depend on your country’s laws and regulations.

Small Business Banking

You’ll need a dedicated business bank account to keep your finances in order. Consider the services offered by different banks, such as credit card processing, lines of credit, check deposits, and online banking.

Insurance for a Mobile Bar

Insurance is crucial for any business, but especially one that involves serving alcohol. Liability insurance will protect you in case a customer gets injured or property is damaged at one of your events.

What license do you need for a mobile bar business?

Serving alcohol is a heavily regulated business. You will need various licenses, including a premises license, personal license, and temporary event notice (TEN) for each event you attend. The requirements differ by country, region, and sometimes even city.

What Does This Cost?

Licensing fees can vary greatly. It’s wise to budget a significant amount for these expenses. Remember, being non-compliant can lead to costly fines or even the closure of your business.

Where Do I Take the Test?

For the Personal Licence, the relevant alcohol licensing authority will be able to tell you when and where the next exam will be held.

How do I obtain my Personal licence once I pass?

After passing your Personal Licence course and exam, you need to submit an application to the licensing authority. This will typically include proof of your course completion, a criminal record check, and a fee.

How do I apply for a temporary event notice (TEN)?

A TEN allows you to serve alcohol at a specific event. You’ll need to apply at least 10 working days before the event, or 5 working days if you’re a personal licence holder or a recognized voluntary organization. The notice includes information about the event and the licensable activities you want to hold.

Top Things to Know About the TEN:

  • You may only serve alcohol between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. under a TEN, unless explicitly stated otherwise in your notice.
  • You can apply for a late TEN to serve alcohol between 11pm and 12pm.
  • You can have a maximum of 15 temporary event notices on any individual premises per year.

What mobile bar equipment do I need?

Your mobile bar is your toolbox. It must be equipped with essentials to create a diverse range of drinks and maintain hygiene standards.

Payment Machine

Make it easy for your customers to pay. Consider getting a card reader that can handle both chip and pin payments and contactless transactions.

Marketing and promoting your mobile bar business

It’s not enough to park at a street corner and expect business to boom. You need a marketing strategy to push the right buttons and attract the right crowd.

So How Do You Promote Your Mobile Bar?

  • Create an online presence. A website and active social media profiles will help people find you.
  • Content marketing. Blog about drink recipes, party planning tips, and event trends.
  • Networking. Partner with event planners, wedding coordinators, and other businesses that cater to the events you want to serve.

Who Is the Target Market

Your potential customers are anyone hosting an event, from weddings and birthdays to corporate gatherings and festivals.

Staffing Your Mobile Bar

Are you the sole bartender, or do you need a team of mixologists? The answer depends on the size of your events and your business model.

How much do mobile bars make?

Like any business, income potential varies. It depends on numerous factors such as location, type and size of events, marketing strategy, and your ability to deliver great service.

Mobile Bar Drinks Pricing

Your pricing should cover your costs and include a profit margin. You can charge a flat fee for your services or price your drinks individually.

Mobile bar ideas

A mobile bar offers endless possibilities. You’re not just serving drinks; you’re creating an experience. Consider themed bars, speciality cocktails, or even a converted vehicle that adds a unique flair to your service.


Starting a mobile bar business is an exciting and unconventional venture that holds plenty of promise for those with the creativity and dedication to make it work. While the entry barriers are significant, the potential rewards are as limitless as the events you can serve. Whether you want to cater to high-end weddings or be the hit at local fairs, taking the time to plan and set up your mobile bar business correctly is the surest way to long-term success. Remember, in the world of mobile bars, the party never ends – and neither does the potential for growth and expansion of your thriving business.