Contact your council to apply for a premises licence if you want to carry out ‘licensable activities’ from a particular venue.
Licensable activities include:
- selling alcohol
- serving alcohol (even if it’s free)
- serving hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am
- providing entertainment (theatre, film, indoor or outdoor sporting, live music, dance performance, nightclub)
You still need a licence even if the activities are for charity - but you may not have to pay for it.
You must be 18 or over to apply for a premises licence.
You must either be, or have appointed, a designated premises supervisor (DPS) before you can apply for a licence. A DPS holds a ‘personal licence’ to sell alcohol.
You might have to register to pay machine game duty on any gaming machines you have on your premises.
There may be other conditions added to your licence, such as having an age-checking policy.
Length of licence
Most Premises licences have an unlimited duration but you will have to pay an annual fee.
How to apply
To apply for a premises licence, contact the council where the premises is based.
Your application must include:
- your details (including any criminal convictions)
- detail of the designated premises supervisor (DPS)
- a detailed plan of the premises
- a planning certificate, building standards certificate and, if food is to be sold, food hygiene certificate
You will also need to include your ‘operating plan’:
- the activities you’re planning
- the times when alcohol will be sold
- the times when food will be sold
- the premises capacity
You will be charged a fee based on the rateable value of the premises.
Extending your licence conditions
If you wish to serve alcohol outside of your licensed hours, eg for a wedding, you must apply to extend the hours of your licence.
Displaying your licence
You must display your ‘licence summary’ at the 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 see them at any time.
Fines and penalties
If you carry out any licensable activities at your premises without a premises licence, you can be fined £20,000, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.
You can be fined up to £1,000 for failing to produce your licence on request.