Personal Licence personal licence

Published on February 2nd, 2012 | by Dean Carr


How do I get a Personal Licence to sell alcohol?

How do I attain a Personal Licence to sell alcohol in the UK? A Personal Licence is granted to an individual by his/her local licensing authority. The person is then licensed to sell or supply alcohol from a licensed premise, which is licensed via a premises licence.

Within the UK, there are a number of steps to follow in order to attain a personal licence to sell alcohol:

1: Complete a training programme and achieve a licensing qualification (APLH or SCPLH)

2: Apply for a CRB check.

3: Submit a personal licence application, CRB Basic Disclosure form, APLH certificate and fee to your local licensing authority.

4: Your personal licence application will then be either granted or refused by your local licensing authority. Once granted, a personal licence is valid for ten years.

UK Licensing Qualifications:

There are currently two relevant licensing qualifications within the UK:

  • Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2 (England & Wales)
  • Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) Level 5 (Scotland)

The Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH), formerly known as the National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH), is a mandatory qualification in England and Wales for personal licence holders. Under the Licensing Act 2003, an individual wishing to apply for a personal licence to sell alcohol in the UK must first complete this award. You can find your local training venue for APLH training courses using this training link.

The Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) is the Scottish equivalent of the APLH, and is a mandatory qualification in Scotland for personal licence holders and applicants. You can find your local training venue for SCPLH training courses using this training link.

Licensing Authorities:

Your local licensing authority, usually your local council, is responsible for receiving your personal licence application, and for either granting or refusing the application. You can find your local licensing authority using this Directgov link.

Why do I need a Personal Licence?

Under the Licensing Act 2003, every sale or supply of alcohol taking place within a licensed premises must be made or supervised by a personal licence holder (Licensing Act 2003, 19.3). Additionally, the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) named on the premises licence must be a personal licence holder. You can find out more about how to become a DPS using this article link.
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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188


  1. Redditch- applying for a personal licence to sell alcohol says:

    […] Useful reading: A guide to alcohol licensing law can be viewed in Alcohol Laws and Licensing Law. A summary of the personal licence application process can be viewed in How do I get a Personal Licence to sell alcohol? […]

  2. Pat Cowey says:

    Hi I’m! We are an Am Dram group with charitable status we hold a drinks license & have a Licensee.What I would like to know is,what are the duties of the Licensee? Plus must we have one?!! If the answer is yes,we must have more than one, as if, God forbid ,anything happened to our Licensee we would not be able to serve alcohol!! Help!

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Pete,

    We’ve received quite a few questions about delivery, particularly with regard to online businesses, so we’ve written an article on delivery.

    In the case of wholesale delivery, you will not need a licence, as the wholesale of alcohol is not a licensable activity. If you’re considering delivery for retail sale, you may need a licence, for several reasons covered in the article!

    Best of luck with your venture.

  4. Pete says:

    I am thinking of starting a small delivery firm up to wholesale beer wine ect to pub and clubs only do i nee a licence.

    thanks for you help (great site)

  5. […] personal licence application is reasonably straightforward. A personal licence applicant will need to complete a mandatory […]

  6. admin says:

    Hi Preet Rau thanks for your kind words we will try and keep everyone up to date on UK licensing law, issues and news
    Regards the Admin Team

  7. Mark says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for visiting We are based in the UK and deal mainly with UK alcohol licensing. Each country has their own licensing system. I would recommend contacting an Indian regional authority for advice and information.
    This web page may provide some information:
    Good luck with your business venture!

  8. NIRMAL BHUIYA says:

    sir,i have keen interest to open a beer shop in my village 8 km from Uluberia (HOWRAH,WEST BENGAL,INDIA.) Please help me how i will get the licence …please help me my dear friends…Thank you…

  9. Preet Rau says:

    It’s awesome to see this site is finally getting the attention it really deserves Keep up the excellent work.

  10. […] of this would still need to apply for a personal license  to sell any cider produced ( with more information here ).  Any cider orchards remaining in the parish? Categories: Arts & Skills, Food Tags: […]

  11. Jeremy says:

    You will need a personal licence for yourself, and a premises licence for your business. The laws and regulations are too involved to mention here, but you can find the relevent information here:

    Personal Licence for England and Wales
    Personal Licence for Scotland
    Premises Licence

  12. daymien says:

    i am considering starting a small door to door alcohol service. please give me some adsvice on where to start.exctly what licences i need and how to obtain them. thank you

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