Published on February 7th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Alcohol Licence – Applying for a licence to sell alcohol in the UK
Alcohol Licence – Your guide to applying for a premises licence and a personal licence to sell alcohol.
We are asked on a regular basis the question ‘how do I apply for a personal licence to sell alcohol in the U.K?’ Since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003, much of the old knowledge about application authorities and NCPLH qualifications has been rendered out of date. The new licensing regime has been implemented throughout England, Wales and Scotland, although Scotland is covered by its own distinct law, the Licensing Act (Scotland) 2005. More information about the Licensing Act 2003 can be found in Alcohol Laws and Licensing Laws.
(This information was revised and up-dated on: 27/04/2017)
Wherever you are in the UK, you require two licences to sell alcohol:
a) Personal Licence
b) Premises Licence
In terms of alcohol licensing, only these two licences are required- the Licensing Act 2003 abolished the numerous varieties of alcohol licences that previously existed.
Applying for a Personal Licence:
Step 1: The licensing qualification
To hold a personal licence, you are required by law to undertake a licensing law course and sit a licensing examination. In England & Wales, this licensing qualification is known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2. In Scotland, candidates are required to undergo training for the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) Level 6. Both have replaced the old qualification, the National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) Level 2, although training courses may still be advertised as such. Training locations and course dates can be accessed via the Personal Licence Training website.
Step 2: The application procedure
Upon successful completion of a licensing law qualification, a candidate may apply for a personal licence to sell alcohol. In England and Wales, this application is made to your Local Licensing Authority- the licensing department of your local council. In Scotland, the application is made to your Local Licensing Board.
Candidates are required to prove they have no relevant convictions. In England and Wales, this involves obtaining a basic Data and Baring Service check (DBS). In Scotland, checks on applicants are conducted by the police using the PNC data base.
The police have the right to object to a personal licence application if the applicant has a relevant offence under the Licensing Act. (however Police will consider certain factors prior to an objection, the rehabilitation of offenders Act, Juvenal offences, type of offence and time scales of an offence).
Applying for a Premises Licence:
A premises licence allows licensable activities, such as the sale of alcohol or the provision of regulated entertainment, to be carried out within the premises in question. As with the personal licence, a premises licence application is made to your local licensing authority or, local licensing board in Scotland.
Alterations to an existing premises licence can be made through a variation of licence, effectively editing the terms of the existing licence. One example would be the extension of opening hours. This variation system, under the Licensing Act 2003, has replaced the old system of applying for extra licences to cover specific functions, however Temporary Event Notice may also be used to extend hours or activities.
There are four key parts to a premises licence application:
- The fee
- The operating schedule, in which the applicant details how he or she proposes to operate and promote the licensing objectives:
The licensable activities to be carried out
The proposed hours that the relevant licensable activities are to take place
Any other times that the premises are to be open to the public
The name and address of the Designated Premises Supervisor or Manager in Scotland
Whether supplies of alcohol are to be consumed on or off the premises
Any conditions the applicant would like to volunteer to help with the application
If any limited period is involved, the period required
- Detailed plans of your premises
- The written consent of the person designated as the premises supervisor
You must also advertise your premises licence application by displaying a notice and publishing a notice in a local newspaper. Details of this process can be found in What is a Premises Licence?
A premises licence application or variation can be complex- our sponsors, PLT, can assist with premises licence services. More details on the premises licence can be found in Premises Licence to Sell Alcohol.
The Designated Premises Supervisor:
An individual who holds a personal licence can be nominated onto a premises licence as the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). In Scotland, this person is known as the Premises Manager. A premises licence application cannot be completed without the nomination of a DPS, and a licensed premise cannot legally operate without a named DPS or Manager.
Need more information then Call PLT’s licensing team on: 01242 222188 as they maybe able to answer any questions or just send us a post and we will endevour to answer as quickly as possible.