Premises licence

A premises licence allows a premises to be used for licensable activities. It acts as a single umbrella licence, covering this whole group of activities, which under the old system required separate licences. It is valid for an unlimited time, subject to surrender, variation, revocation, lapse or suspension, but can be requested for a limited period.

What licensable activities are covered under a premises licence?

The licensable activities are:

  • sale by retail of alcohol
  • supply of alcohol to members of a club
  • regulated entertainment
  • late night refreshment

Regulated entertainment includes (subject to exemptions):

  • a performance of a play
  • an exhibition of a film
  • an indoor sporting event
  • boxing or wrestling
  • a performance of live music
  • any playing of recorded music
  • a performance of dance
  • entertainment facilities for the above

Late night refreshment is (subject to exemptions) where hot food or drink are provided to the public between 11pm and 5am. These are commonly night cafés.

Who can apply for a premises licence?

The principal category of those who can apply for a premises licence is anyone who proposes to carry on a business involving licensable activities on the premises. This covers any individual (aged at least 18) or business. Recognised clubs, charities, a proprietor of educational establishments, health service bodies and a chief officer of police may also apply.



You can also complete and post an application form:

To make an application you must submit:

  • a completed application form, including an 'operating schedule'
  • a plan of the premises in the prescribed form
  • if the application requests the authorisation to supply alcohol, a form containing the consent of the proposed designated premises supervisor in the prescribed form
  • the prescribed fee
  • documents demonstrating entitlement to work / immigration status in the United Kingdom 

Related materials

Notification of interest in a premises

A notification of interest allows a person with an interest in any premises to receive notifications from us about any changes made to the statutory licensing register. The notice has effect for a period of 12 months beginning on the day it is received by us.

A person has a property interest in the premises if he/she:

  • has a legal interest in the premises as freeholder or leaseholder
  • is a legal mortgagee in respect to the premises
  • is in occupation of the premises
  • has a prescribed interest in the premises


To apply please send us a completed application form and the appropriate fee, which is currently £21:

Expedited / summary licence reviews 

The Licensing Act 2003 allows a quick process for attaching interim conditions to a licence.

The powers allow:

  • the police to trigger a fast track process to review a premises licence where the police consider that the premises are associated with serious crime or serious disorder (or both); and
  • the licensing authority to respond by taking interim steps quickly, where appropriate, pending a full review

In summary, the process is:

  • a local chief officer of police may apply to the licensing authority for an expedited review of a premises licence where a senior police officer has issued a certificate stating that in his/her opinion the premises are associated with serious crime or serious disorder (or both)
  • on receipt of the application and the certificate the licensing authority must within 48 hours consider whether it is necessary to take interim steps pending determination of the review of the premises licence - the authority must in any event undertake a review within 28 days of receipt of the application

The range of options open to the licensing authority at the interim steps stage are:

  • modification of the conditions of the premises licence
  • the exclusion of the sale of alcohol by retail (or other licensable activities) from the scope of the licence
  • removal of the designated premises supervisor from the licence; and
  • suspension of the licence

Interim authority notice 

A premises licence will remain in force for as long as the licence holder continues to operate the business. In the event of the licence holder:

  • dying
  • becoming mentally incapacitated or
  • becoming insolvent

Persons with an interest in the premises or connected to the licence holder can give an 'interim authority' notice to the licensing authority.

The interim authority notice must be submitted to us within 28 days of the insolvency/bankruptcy or death, otherwise the licence will lapse. An interim authority notice will allow premises to trade until the licence can be transferred.


You must submit:

Please note that this notice is intended only as temporary cover and you should transfer your licence as soon as possible.

How to have your say about a licensed premises or application

Page updated: 28/01/2019 09:07:03