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Premises Licence Application – FAQs

All you need to know about Premises Licence Applications.

In order to sell alcohol to the public, whether from a pub, a shop, a restaurant or even online, you will need a premises licence. This is a legal requirement and without a premises licence in place you will be breaking the law and could face prosecution.

Here at Innpacked our aim is to guide you through the application process to ensure that your premises licence suits your business needs.

Innpacked has been around for 20 years now and over the years we have been asked lots and lots of questions about premises licences and how to apply for them.
Below is a selection of these questions which we hope you will find helpful but if your question is not answered below, then please contact us and we will be happy to help. In fact it will help us as we can add your question and answer to our list.

We also have other FAQ pages on the site to answer your questions regarding APLH courses, Personal Licence Applications, and Selling on Amazon.

What is a Premises?

A premises is defined for the purpose of the Licensing Act as ‘any place and includes a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure’.


What is a Premises Licence?

A premises licence is a licence that is granted by a Local Licensing Authority for a specified premises or location which authorises the holder to carry out some or all the following licensable activities:

  • The sale of alcohol

This requirement will apply regardless of whether your customers will be consuming the alcohol on the premises where it was supplied to them, or off the premises. Drinks with a strength of less than 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV) can be sold without a licence. Any sales direct to customers will require the seller to obtain a licence. Mail, telephone and internet orders must also be fulfilled from licensed premises.

  • Provision of late-night refreshment

For selling or supplying hot food or hot drinks between 11pm and 5am.

  • Performance of a play (e.g., a pantomime or amateur dramatic production, including a rehearsal), an exhibition of a film

A licence is required if you are providing a performance of a play, to entertain an audience, if the play is open to the public, or if you are hoping to make a profit from admission fees. (No licence will be required for performances between 8am and 11pm if the audience consists of no more than 500 people)

  • An indoor sporting event

An indoor sporting event is defined as a display, demonstration or match involving any competitive sport or similar physical activity, which takes place in front of an audience in an enclosed venue.
(Again, you will not need a licence if the event takes place between 8am and 11pm, and the audience consists of less than 1,000 people)

  • Boxing or Wrestling

Boxing, wrestling, combined fighting styles, such as mixed martial arts (MMA) or cage fights intended to entertain an audience, will require a licence
(Again, you will not need a licence if the event takes place between 8am and 11pm, and the audience consists of less than 1,000 people)

  • A performance of live music

This includes karaoke, a band, a choir, vocal, orchestral, acoustic and amplified performances to entertain an audience.
(No licence is required if the live music is unamplified and takes place between 8am and 11pm or the live music takes place between 8am and 11pm for an audience of no more than 500)

  • Any playing of recorded music

Playing recorded music in front of an audience for entertainment purposes but does not include background music
(No licence is required if therecorded music takes place between 8am and 11pm for an audience of no more than 500)

  • A dance performance

A licence is required if the performances of dance has been arranged as part of an entertainment event including dedicated performances of ballet, latin, ballroom dancing, or street dance, and dancers in bars or nightclubs who are contracted to perform
(Performances of dance will be exempt from licensing if they take place in front of an audience with no more than 500 members, between 8am and 11pm)

  • Facilities for making music, dancing and entertainment of a similar description


What is Late Night Refreshment?

These are any premises serving hot food and hot drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am including take-aways and restaurants. This could include a burger van which is sited on a particular pitch.

Are there any exemptions to the licensable activities that do not require a licence?

Yes, they are as follows:

  • Film exhibitions for advertising, information or education
  • Film as an exhibit in a museum or art gallery
  • Incidental music ie: background music both live and recorded
  • Live TV or radio
  • Incidental to a religious service or at a place or religious worship
  • Entertainment at a fete, function or similar provided that the event is not held for private gain
  • Morris dancing or dancing of a similar nature or music which accompanies such dancing
  • Entertainment in a moving vehicle
  • Spontaneous music, singing and dancing
  • Private event where there was no intention to make a profit
  • Darts matches etc played indoors that are not played to entertain spectators
  • Stand up comedy even if some music is involved in the Act


Why do I need a Premises Licence?

A premises licence is required when you offer or provide one or more of the following three licensable activities: the sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment, the provision of late night refreshment. A premises licence, or a club premises certificate, is a permanent licence granted under the 2003 Licensing Act for a specific location, that authorises the holder to carry on any or all of the following licensable activities: the sale of alcohol. the supply of alcohol by a club to its members and guests.

Do I need a Premises Licence to sell wholesale?

Not unless you supply to any member of the public

If I sell alcohol on Amazon, do I need a premises licence?

Yes you do. The premises where the alcohol is being dispatched from will require a premises licence. That includes a private dwelling if you are selling from home. Amazon also requires you to have a premises licence even if they are fufiilment of the order is completed by Amazon and the alcohol doesn’t come anywhere near your property. You can read more about selling on Amazon on our Amazon sales page.

Can I apply for a Premises Licence for my house?

Yes, you can. This type of application would generally be for online sales of alcohol. It would be very unusual but not impossible to have a premises licence granted that authorises customers to attend the premises.

Who are Premises Licence applications submitted to?

Premises Licence applications are submitted to the local licensing authority where the premises is situated. A guide to which authority you should apply to can be found by entering the post code of the premises into the find my licensing authority page of the .gov website.

How do I apply for a Premises Licence?

To make a Premises Licence Application you have two choices.

You can allow Innpacked to complete the whole process (including personal licence training if required) on your behalf which is by far the quickest and easiest way. We work on a fixed rate. No hidden charges. No hourly rate. Your own consultant from start to finish. If you would like to discuss your requirements please give us a call on Free phone 08000 786 056 or use the call back form on the right of this page.


You can follow our guidelines on how to apply for a premises licence here.

How long does it take to get a Premises Licence?

Each premises licence application is unique as there are various requirements that need to be fulfilled but as a rule of thumb it can take anywhere between one to three months, This however is an educated estimate. Once you submit your application a 28 day consultation period will take place. Obviously as Innpacked deal with premises licence application every day we can assure you that we can process the application quicker than doing it yourself.

What is a Cumulative Impact Area/Zone?

Cumulative Impact Zones are often put in place by Licensing authorities to control alcohol-related disorder in specific areas of a town containing a high density of licensed premises. In a cumulative impact zone, applications will generally be rejected unless it can be shown that granting the premises licence would not add to existing alcohol related problems.



What hours can I apply for to sell alcohol?

There are no predetermined hour within the Licensing Act 2003 but many local licensing authorities will have guidance  within their Licensing Policy which will advise what hours are more likely to be accepted based on local area requirements and what type of business that you are applying to licence.



Who can object to the grant of a Premises Licence?

Once the council is in receipt of your correctly made premises licence application, the responsible authorities have 28 days in which they are entitled to make representation to your application.
Any interested party wishing to make representation has 28 days to do so starting on the day after your application has been given to the council, i.e. the day you advertise your application.
Responsible authorities and interested parties are entitled to apply to the council for a review of an existing licence.
All representations must be based on the four licensing objectives contained within the 2003 Licensing Act.

Who are the relevant authorities who can object to the grant of a Premises Licence?

The below responsible authorities can make a representation regarding your application

local fire and rescue
primary care trust (PCT) or local health board (LHB)
the relevant licensing authority
local enforcement agency for the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
environmental health authority
planning authority
body responsible for the protection of children from harm
local trading standards

What happens if my premises licence application attracts an objection?

If there is an objection which is based on the four licensing objectives, a hearing of the licensing committee must be held within 20 days unless all parties agree that a formal hearing is unnecessary.
The licensing committee will consider representations with regard to the licensing objectives and can, on this basis, grant, reject or alter the terms or conditions of the licence.

Can I appeal if my application is refused?

If, following a hearing, your application is refused you can appeal to the Magistrate´s Court against the council´s decision within 21 days of being notified of the decision.


How much does a Premises Licence Application cost?

A premises licence application cost is based on various factors. You’ll be charged a fee that’s based on the rateable value of the property.Premises licence application fees start from £100 upwards depending on the fee band of your venue.

What other costs are involved in a Premises Licence Application

Newspaper advertising fees, plans, personal licence course and application, if you don’t already have one, printing, postage and photocopying.

Do I need to submit plans of my premises with my Premises Licence Application?

Yes. Your will find full details of what plans you need to provide in our Premises Licence Application guide .

What is contained within a completed premises licence application?

The completed application form for a premises licence must be accompanied by:

  • the licence fee based on the business rateable value of the premises
  • an operating schedule
  • a plan of the premises
  • If you intended to sell alcohol, a designated premises supervisor (DPS) consent form.

How long does a Premises Licence last?

The licence is valid for as long as the premises exists or, until the licence is surrendered or revoked. The licence holder is liable for the licence until liquidation/surrender of licence or death of the licence holder. There is an annual fee payable on the anniversary of the grant of the Premises Licence.

Can you transfer a Premises Licence?

Yes. A Premises licence can be transferred to another licence holder but not to another premises.

How do you transfer a Premises Licence?

If you are purchasing a business with a premises licence you will need to take over the premises licence. To do this you must make an application to transfer the premises licence and also obtain consent from the existing licence holder.

What obligations do I have as a Premises Licence Holder?

Once you are a premises licence all of the below obligations must be fulfilled.
• The licence (or a certified copy) must be kept on the premises and available for inspection at all times by any police constable or person authorised by the council.
• The licence summary (Part B must be prominently displayed, at the premises,
• If your Premises Licence is lost, stolen or destroyed you must notify the council and apply for a copy of the licence.
• If you wish to surrender your licence you must inform the council.
• If you wish to make any changes to your designated premises supervisor, operating hours, activities, conditions and any alteration to the premises you must apply apply to the council for a variation of your premises licence.
• Any change of name or address must be disclosed to the council.
• You must apply to the council if you wish to transfer the licence to someone else.
• Pay an annual fee due on the anniversary of the grant date of your licence.

What do I do if I lose my premises licence or it gets stolen?

You must write to the licensing authority who issued the licence to inform them off the loss as soon as possible.

How many personal licence holders are required for a premises licence?

Apart from the designated premises supervisor who must hold a personal licence, this is a decision for each individual premises licence holder. That said, from a “due diligence” perspective it is advisable to have at least two or more. This will allow greater flexibility in fulfilling the requirement for every alcohol sale to be made or authorised by a personal licence holder. It also means that if a DPS leaves at short notice they can be replaced immediately because the premises licence cannot be operated legally without a DPS.

More details on changing the DPS.

Not found the answer to your question? Let us know and we’ll come right back to you

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