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.
Licensable activity includes:
- selling alcohol
- serving alcohol to members of a private club
- providing entertainment, such as music, dancing or indoor sporting events
- serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am
The process of applying is formally known as ‘serving’ a Temporary Event Notice.
You will also need a TEN if a particular licensable activity is not included in the terms of your existing licence, for example holding a wedding reception at a community centre.
Your event must:
- have fewer than 500 people at all times – including staff running the event
- last no more than 168 hours (7 days)
You must be at least 18 to apply for a TEN.
Number of notices you can apply for
You 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 15 TENs applied for in one year, as long as the total length of the events is not more than 21 days.
If you’re organising separate but consecutive events, there must be at least a 24 hour gap between them.
How to apply
Contact your council to apply for a TEN.
You must apply at least 10 clear working days before your event.
Clear working days do not include the day your council receives your application or the day of the 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.
You can only apply for a TEN as an individual, not an organisation.
The latest you can apply for a ‘late TEN’ is 5 clear working days before the event (but not earlier than 9 clear working days).
If you don’t hold a personal licence, you can serve up to 2 late TENs per year. If you hold a personal licence, the limit is 10. Late TENs count towards the total number of permitted TENs.
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 (unless all parties agree that a hearing isn’t needed).
At the hearing, the committee will either approve, add conditions or reject the notice.
If the police or Environmental Health object to a late TEN, the notice won’t be valid and you can’t hold the event.
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 could be fined 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, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.