Apply for this licence

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Contact your council for a licence if you want to sell food or drinks between 11pm and 5am in Scotland.

You need a licence whether the food or drink is consumed on or off the premises.


Licences are temporary and usually last for 1 to 3 years.


If you already have a licence to sell alcohol between 11pm and 5am, you only need a late hours catering licence if you’re going to sell food.

How to apply

Contact your council to apply for a licence. There will be a fee.

The council will put a notice about your application in a local newspaper.

You’ll have to say if you’ve been convicted of a crime, but you don’t have to declare any spent convictions.

Display a notice of your application

If you’ll mostly be serving food and drink on the premises, you must display a notice about your application at or near the premises from the same day you submit the application.

The notice must contain details about the application and how people can object to it. Your council might ask you to confirm you’re displaying a notice.


Councils can allow all businesses in their area to sell food and drink at night for up to 2 months a year. This is sometimes used for special occasions, eg celebrations. Contact your council to find out if you are eligible for an exemption.

Fines and penalties

If you sell food or drink late at night without a licence, you could be fined.

If you make a false declaration on your application form, you could be fined up to £2,000.