Under the Licencing Act 2003, a venue where alcohol is sold, or refreshments are sold between 11pm and 5am must hold a premises licence. A licence is also required for certain types of public entertainment. Our specialist licensing consultants help you with your premises licence application and guide you through the process.
Who needs to complete a premises licence application?
Anyone carrying out licensable activities needs to complete a premises licence application unless an exemption applies (see below).
A premises licence permits the sale of alcohol, or hot food and drink late at night. It also gives permission for regulated entertainment, including:
- Boxing or wrestling entertainment
- Dance performances
- Film showings
- Music (live and recorded)
- Play performances
- Indoor sports events
Who cannot apply for a premises licence?
Someone who does not have the right to live and work in the UK or is not legally allowed to carry out a licensable activity cannot apply for a premises licence.
What is the purpose of a premises licence?
The purpose of a premises licence is to make sure event organisers understand their responsibilities to the public.
When applying for a premises licence, evidence must be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the following licensing objectives:
- Prevention of crime and disorder
- Protection of public safety
- Prevention of public nuisance
- Protection of children from harm.
Premises licence exemptions
You do not always need a premises licence to supply hot food or drink after 11pm (for example, if you are not charging for refreshments or your organisation is a charity).
There are also times when you do not need a premises licence to put on public entertainment. Exemptions are normally dependent on the time an event is held, where an event is taking place and the size of the audience.
For more information about exemptions, see the guidance notes at the bottom of the government’s premises licence application form, or contact our advisors who will be happy to answer your questions.
Do you always need a premises licence to sell alcohol?
You always need a premises licence to sell alcohol unless it is for a one-off event.
You can sell alcohol in a ‘pop-up’ bar at a school fair, for example, without applying for a full premises licence. Instead, you can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) which is far less onerous.
How to apply for a premises licence to sell alcohol
Anybody selling alcohol to the public must hold a premises licence. Even if you sell alcohol on Amazon or through another online platform from your home, you still require a premises licence.
As well as a premises licence, someone at your venue must hold a personal licence. This person is called the designated premises supervisor (or DPS) and they are accountable for the responsible sale of alcohol on the premises.
We can help you to get a premises licence to sell alcohol and apply for a personal licence. Our experts can explain the licence terms to you and make sure you understand how the terms affect your business. We can draw up all the paperwork to ensure your business complies with legislation, increasing the chances your application will be successful.
Premises licence consultation process
All applications are subject to a 28-day premises licence consultation process.
This 28-day period is a chance for members of the public and responsible authorities (such as environmental health, the planning department, the fire service and the police) to make a representation or comment on your application.
Who must be notified?
Responsible authorities must receive a copy of your premises licence application along with your plans.
To make sure members of the public see your application, it must be advertised in your local newspaper. Additionally, a notice must be clearly displayed on the premises for 28 days from the day after you made your application. People must be able to see the notice from outside the premises as they are passing.
It is very important that your premises licence application is publicised correctly. If there are any mistakes, the council can invalidate your application and you will have to reapply.
As part of our service, we make sure your application is advertised in accordance with the law. You only need to pay for the newspaper advertisement – we take care of the rest.
What happens if an objection is raised?
We can negotiate with anyone who puts in a representation during the 28-day premises licence consultation process. Most of the time, we successfully get people to withdraw their objections and applications are granted at the end of the 28 days.
If matters cannot be settled through negotiation, our experienced licensing consultants can offer you strong representation at a court hearing. We make sure you are well prepared for the hearing and guide you throughout the process.
Information you need to apply for a premises licence
The premises licence application form contains sections that require research and careful consideration. We can help you with every aspect of the application process.
You need to provide:
- A description of the premises. This includes the type of premises (village hall etc.) and a plan of the layout.
- A description of the type of event. For example, if it is a live music performance, is it karaoke or an orchestra?
- A description of where alcohol purchased on the premises will be consumed, even if it is not on the premises.
- Details of where on the premises the event will take place. Will it take place indoors or outdoors? Will the event be held in a building, garden, marquee etc.?
- Whether entertainment could cause child safeguarding concerns, regardless of whether children will attend the event. This is particularly relevant if a film is restricted by age, or entertainment is of a sexual nature.
- The hours the event will be open to the public, especially if the hours will differ from the venue’s standard opening times.
- How many people you expect to attend the event.
- An explanation of how you will meet each of the four licensing objectives (see, ‘What is the purpose of a premises licence?’ above).
- Scanned copies of documents that prove you have the right to work in the UK (for example, your passport or Biometric Residence Permit).
In addition, your local licensing authority may request extra information from you. You can find out more on your local licensing authority’s website.
Signing your application
In most cases, the person (or people) applying for a premises licence must sign the application form.
However, an agent acting for an applicant (or joint applicants), such as a solicitor, has the authority to sign.
How we can help with your premises licence application
At Innpacked, we have assisted people with premises licence applications for more than 20 years. Our team of licensing consultants have secured thousands of licences for all types of businesses across a range of sectors, from hotels to ‘pop-up’ venues.
Our experts understand that applying for a licence yourself can be onerous. By working with us, you can make the process efficient and stress-free. We will ensure your application is legally compliant, error-free, and includes the right supporting documents.
Please contact us today to find out how we can help with your premises licence application.