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Overview

Contact your council for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) if you want to carry out a ‘licensable activity’ on unlicensed premises in England or Wales.

The process of applying is formally known as ‘serving’ a Temporary Event Notice.

Licensable activity includes:

  • selling alcohol
  • serving alcohol to members of a private club
  • providing entertainment (eg music, dancing or indoor sporting events)
  • serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am

You will also need a TEN if a particular licensable activity is not included in the terms of your existing licence, eg holding a wedding reception at a community centre.

Restrictions

Your event must:

  • have less than 500 people at any one time – including staff running the event
  • last no more than 168 hours, or 7 days

You must be at least 18 to apply for a Temporary Event Notice.

Number of notices you can apply for

You will need a TEN for each event you hold on the same premises.

You can get up to 5 TENs a year. If you already have a personal licence to sell alcohol, you can be given up to 50 TENs a year.

A single premises can have up to 12 notices applied for in 1 year, as long as:

  • the total length of the events is not more than 21 days
  • 1 person doesn’t make more than 5 applications for the premises

‘Late TENs

You can apply for a ‘late TEN’ up to 5 working days before the event. You can apply for up to 10 late TENs per calendar year.

If you are organising separate but consecutive events, there must be at least a 24 hour gap between them.

If you don’t hold a personal licence, you can serve up to 5 notices (of which up to 2 may be late).

If you hold a personal licence, the limit is 50 notices (of which up to 10 may be late).

How to apply

Contact your council to apply for a TEN. You must do this at least 10 working days before your event.

You will have to pay a fee of £21.

You must send a copy of the TEN to the police at least 10 working days before the event – if you apply online, the council will contact the police for you.

The date of submitting the TEN and the day of the event are not included in the total number of working days before the event.

Objections

The council can’t refuse a notice unless the police or Environmental Health object to it. They must do this within 3 working days of receiving it. They can only object if they think your event could:

  • lead to crime and disorder
  • cause a public nuisance
  • be a threat to public safety
  • put children at risk of harm

If there’s an objection, your council’s licensing committee will hold a meeting – called a ‘hearing’ – no later than 24 hours before the event.

At the hearing, the committee will either approve, add conditions or reject the notice.

Appeals

If you disagree with the licensing committee’s decision, you can appeal to your local Magistrates’ court. You must do this within 21 days, and at least 5 working days before the date of your event.

Displaying your notice

You must keep your TEN in a safe place where the event is held.

You must also display a copy of the notice where it can be easily seen.

Fines and penalties

You can only apply for a TEN as an individual, not an organisation.

You could be fined up to £5,000 if you make any false statements in your application, or face prosecution if you breach the terms of the notice.

If you don’t have a TEN and carry out an activity that you should have a licence for (or allow your premises to be used for one), you can be fined £20,000, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.

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