You need a licence from your local county court to sell alcohol in Northern Ireland.
How to apply
You can apply for a licence at your county court. Before you apply you must:
- publish a notice in at least 2 local newspapers of your intention to apply for a licence, at least 2 weeks before the court sitting
- display a notice on or near your premises and notify the local police station and district council of your intention to apply for a licence, at least 3 weeks before the court sitting
These notices must contain a plan of your premises.
You will only be able to apply to the court for a licence for certain premises, including:
- premises where alcohol will be sold and consumed eg pubs
- premises where alcohol is sold for consumption off the premises
- guest houses
- conference centres certified by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board
- indoor arenas
- higher education institutions
- public entertainment premises
- public transport premises
- seamen’s canteens
You can’t apply for a licence if your premises are in a road service area, garage or petrol station.
Fines and penalties
You may be fined £5,000 or face up to 6 months in prison if you sell alcohol without a licence.
Machine Games Duty
You may have to pay Machine Games Duty on any gaming machines you have on your premises.