Contact your council to apply for a premises licence if you intend to sell alcohol or provide ‘licensable activities’ from a particular venue.
Licensable activities include:
- selling alcohol
- serving hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am
You’ll also need a licence if you provide the following types of entertainment:
- theatrical performance
- showing a film
- indoor sporting event
- boxing or wrestling (indoor or outdoor)
- live music
- recorded music
- facilities for making music
- dancing facilities
You still need a licence even if the activities are for charity.
You may have to pay Machine Games Duty on any gaming machines you have on your premises.
You don’t need a licence for some types of entertainment, including:
- educational or promotional films
- films shown as part of an exhibition in a museum or gallery
- incidental music (live or recorded)
You must be 18 or over to apply for a premises licence.
You must be, or appoint, a designated premises supervisor (DPS) when you apply for a licence. A DPS must have a personal licence to sell alcohol.
There may be other conditions added to your licence, eg having an age-checking policy if you sell alcohol.
How to apply
Contact your council for a premises licence.
You’ll need to provide:
- your details
- details of the DPS
- a detailed plan of the premises
- an operating schedule, eg hours when alcohol will be sold
You must display your ‘application notice’ at or on the premises for 28 days from the day after it was submitted.
You’ll be charged a fee that’s based on the rateable value of the property.
Application fees range from £100 to £1,905, depending on the fee band of your venue.
If your premises doesn’t have a rateable value it will fall into the lowest fee band.
Displaying your licence
You must display the ‘licence summary’ at your premises where it can be easily seen.
The other pages of the licence should be kept safely at the premises. Police or council officers can ask to inspect them at any time.
Length of licence
Most premises licences have an unlimited duration but you will have to pay an annual fee.
Fines and penalties
You can be fined up to £1,000 for failing to produce your licence on request.
If you carry out any licensable activities at your premises without a premises licence, you can be fined, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.
You can get a club premises certificate instead of a premises licence if you run a member’s club.