Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Dean Carr
Alcohol licensing laws for the UK
The licensing laws in the UK state that in order to sell alcohol in the UK you will need the following licences:
To sell alcohol in the UK you must have a personal licence. The local authority has the right to take away your personal licence if it is not used responsibly and in accordance with the rules stated in the Licensing Act of 2003.
To ensure a responsible supply of alcohol, an individual must have a personal licence to sell alcohol, or be authorised by a person who has a personal licence. For example a pub landlord must own a personal licence to give them the right to sell alcohol. As a consequence, a member of the landlord’s staff would also have the right to sell alcohol under the authority of the landlord. If the member of staff were not to sell alcohol in accordance with the Licensing Act of 2003, the landlord himself would be at risk of losing his personal licence.
In order to sell alcohol to the public from your premises you will need to have an appropriate premises licence. If you are selling alcohol to another business and not the public, then this rule does not apply. To receive a premises licence the premises must be shown to be suitable for the sale and possible consumption of alcohol, and there must also be a personal licence holder who will be responsible for the sale of alcohol on the premises, and that is sold in accordance with the Licensing Act of 2003. This person is known as the designated premises supervisor.
A premises licence will be required as well as a personal licence if the alcohol is to be sold to members of the public, if there is to be the sale of hot food or drink between the hours of 11pm and 5am, or if alcohol is supplied to a club. A premises licence will also be required for certain entertainment events including theatre performances, live music and large sporting occasions. There will also be different regulations even amongst these entertainment events with alcohol regulations very different at different events.
Club premises certificate
There is also a licence known as the ‘club premises certificate’. With this certificate will be no need for a specific personal licence holder or designated premises supervisor. Instead a management committee will assume responsibility for the sale of alcohol. In order to qualify for this certificate the club or committee must have a list of members all of whom subscribe to that particular committee.
Holding one of the above licences will generally enable you to apply to sell alcohol on a 24-hour basis, so that you can sell alcohol at any time you desire. Approval for this licence will depend on where you intend to sell the alcohol and if there are any local objections. There are also business considerations such as whether anybody will buy alcohol from you at that time.
For further information contact your local licensing authority, or our sponsors (Personal Licence Training Ltd) on 01527 544780