The Premises Licence

What is a Premises Licence?

  • A premises licence, or a club premises certificate, is a permanent licence granted for a specific location in England or Wales to authorise licensable activities. These include:
    • The sale or supply of alcohol to the public.
    • The provision of regulated entertainment (such as the performance of live music or any playing of recorded music) before 8am or after 11pm.
    • The provision of late night refreshment (providing hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am).
  • If you intend to carry out any of these activities at your bar or restaurant, a premises licence will be obligatory.

How do I apply for a Premises Licence

  • Premises Licences are issued by Licensing Authorities. These are Local District Council bodies in England and Wales.
  • Qualifying applicants must apply for a Premises Licence to the Licensing Authority of the Local Council covering the area in which the premises is located.
  • To obtain a Premises Licence from your Local Licensing Authority, you must submit an application containing the following:
    1. For individual applicants, or partnerships which are not limited liability partnerships, proof of the right to live and work in the UK.
    2. An application form containing the Operating Schedule including:
      • Opening hours.
      • The provision of regulated entertainment before 8am or after 11pm(such as the performance of live music or any playing of recorded music).
      • The provision of late night refreshment (providing hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am).
      • Measures to be taken to comply with the four licensing objectives.
    3. A plan of the layout of the premises.
    4. Formal Agreement of the person specified as the 'Designated Premises Supervisor'
    5. The relevant fee
  • Copies of the application (minus the fee) must also be sent to various "Responsible Authorities" (e.g. Police, Fire Service or Child Protection).
  • Applying for a premises licence can be complex - particularly if the premises is situated in a designated 'Cumulative Impact' area or zone where there is a high density of licensed premises such as bars, restaurants or off-licences.
  • Pro-Leagle have extensive experience of successfully negotiating premises licences with Licensing Authorities. We can consult with the relevant responsible authorities on your behalf - producing an application with the best chance of success.
  • Our fees are £210 for a standard premises licence application or £330 if the premises is in a Cumulative Impact Zone. Contact us about this service.

Do I qualify for a Premises Licence?

  • A prospective premises licence holder must be aged 18 or over and have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • If alcohol is to be sold a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) must be appointed to manager the premises. The DPS must hold a Personal Licence. The premises licence holder can, but does not need to, also act as the DPS.
  • The relevant premises must meet required fire-safety and environmental-health standards for the licensable activities proposed.

The premises is in a Cumulative Impact Area/Zone. Can I still get a licence?

Licensing authorities often institute Cumulative Impact policies to deal with alcohol-related disorder in specific areas containing a high density of licensed properties (such as public houses or off-licences).

  • In such areas there is generally a rebuttal presumption for new applications. In other words, applications will be rejected unless it can be successfully argued that granting the premises licence would not add to existing disorder.
  • For such applications prior consultation with the Police is a must. They are the Responsible Authority who will generally raise most objections to the application. Understanding the potential issues in advance can save on unnecessary Licensing Authority hearings. Recommendations may include:
    • Installing colour CCTV.
    • Putting in place a clear staff training policy.
    • Banning "vertical drinking" (all customers supplied with alcohol must be seated).
    • If the premises is a restaurant, supplying alcohol only as part of a table meal.
  • Pro-Leagle have a strong track record of success with Cumulative Impact Area applications - particularly in challenging London suburbs.
  • We charge £330 for preparation of premises licence applications in Cumulative Impact Zones. Contact us about this service.

I have bought a property/lease with an existing premises licence under the name of a previous owner. What do I do?

  • This situation is generally simpler than a new premises licence application. You can now:
    1. Apply to the Licensing Authority to transfer the licence into your name. You will need to obtain consent from the current licence holder (£99 Pro-Leagle service).
    2. If alcohol is to be sold, and the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) will not be the same as under the previous owner, you must also apply to vary the DPS (£99 Pro-Leagle service)
    3. If the current opening times and daily hours of licensable activities are unsuitable you will need to apply to vary the Operating Schedule of the licence(£99 Pro-Leagle service)
  • Licensing Authorities will generally accept these applications simultaneously. Contact us about these services.

I want to transfer a premises licence but I can't find the previous owner to give their consent. What can I do?

  • This situation often arises with properties or leases purchased at auction.
  • Generally you will need to demonstrate to the Licensing Authority that you have taken reasonable steps to obtain consent.
  • Pro-Leagle can attempt to trace the previous owner on your behalf - a step that should generally be sufficient (£99 Pro-Leagle service).