Published on January 3rd, 2013 | by Dean Carr
What is an alcohol licence?
An alcohol licence is an authorisation for businesses, organisations, or individuals to sell or supply alcohol in the United Kingdom. This authorisation is granted by a licensing authority, usually a local council. The Home Office oversees the law and policy of alcohol licensing.
To check the alcohol licence rules, or have representation in your town or area, visit this handy .gov.uk page
Types of alcohol licence
Premises licence – required by any business or other organisation that sells or supplies alcohol on a permanent basis. This includes companies that sell alcohol by means of the internet or mail order.
Personal licence – required by anyone who plans to sell or supply alcohol or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol. To apply for a personal licence you usually need an award for personal licence holders (in England and Wales) or Scottish certificate for personal licence holders (in Scotland).
Club premises certificate – required by “members only” clubs (e.g. football clubs or working mens clubs) if they plan to sell alcohol.
Temporary event notice – required by anyone who plans to sell alcohol on a temporary basis (e.g. fetes). The supply of alcohol for free becomes a grey area, anyone considering this should visit the government page here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
Alcohol licence laws in Northern Ireland
The alcohol licensing laws for Northern Ireland are a great deal more restrictive than for the rest of the United Kingdom. Any new pub or off-licence wanting to sell alcohol must wait until an existing one surrenders its alcohol licence. This is known as the “surrender principle”. A new licence is granted by the County Court under the surrender principle rules. A transfer of an alcohol licence (from one person to another) is a matter for the magistrates’ court.