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Published on April 4th, 2011 | by Dean Carr


Premises Licence to Sell Alcohol

Application link: Premises Licence services- for application and variation of licence

Premises Licence Application

A premises licence is granted to a building or open space, and allows one or more licensable activities to be carried out on the premises. There are four licensable activities:

  • The sale by retail of alcohol
  • The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late-night refreshment

The premises management are obliged to uphold the four licensing objectives, both in the operating schedule (a written part of the application) and during day-to-day activities. The four licensing objectives are:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

Note: A premises licence application can be complex undertaking. Our sponsors, Personal Licence Training Ltd, can discuss your project and assist you with application.

Carrying out an application:

Plans and Scale Drawings

New premises licence applications must be accompanied with a 1:10cm scale drawing of the premises, indicating areas where alcohol is to be sold, and displaying fire exits, fire-fighting equipment, fire codes and CCTV equipment.

Risk Assessments

Under the new Licensing Act (2003), the Designated Premises Supervisor is ultimately responsible for overseeing a risk assessment of a licensed premise. These new laws stipulate that you are required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and a Health & Safety Risk Assessment on a regular basis, dictated by the number of people that you employ.

CCTV Systems

The Police will normally insist on the installation of Close Circuit Television to all new licensed premises, with conditions generally imposed on all new licence applications and written in to licensing policy statements. CCTV systems have to comply with DCMS guidelines.

Changing an existing licence

Transfer and Variation

A licence transfer is the transfer of licence from one person to another, associated with a change of ownership or management.

A change in the business purpose of premises can demand a variation of licence. Changing the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) is a variation of licence. Altering the operating schedule, including altering opening hours, is a variation of licence. Any amendment of the licensable activities to be carried out on the premises is also classed as a variation.

Change of Use

Changing a restaurant to a pub (A3 to A4)? A shop floor to a cafe (A1 to A3)? Many kinds of premises renovation require a legal change of use. Some of the more common change of use applications involve the following:

  • A1 – Shops
  • A2 – Financial and Professional Services
  • A3 – Restaurants and Cafes
  • A4 – Drinking Establishments
  • A5 – Hot Food Takeaways
  • C1 – Hotels
  • D2 – Assembly and Leisure

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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. […] 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. […]

  2. […] More details on the premises licence can be found in Premises Licence to Sell Alcohol. […]

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Ed,

    The wholesale of alcohol (business to business) does not require any form of alcohol licensing. If you venture into retail sale (to the public), you will need a premises licence and a personal licence- this applies even to an odd sale here or there to the public alongside a primarily wholesale form of business.

    Aside from this, you will need to satisfy food hygiene regulations, which encompass drinks, and accurately measure the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) content of the infusions, which must be clearly labelled on the product.

    It is also worth noting that the storage of large quantities of alcohol in garages or sheds may raise concerns with your local police force, due to the potential to attract crime. We frequently get questions at from people starting up all kinds of home-based businesses and always recommend discussing your method of storage

    If you wish to discuss ABV legislation or food hygiene qualifications in more detail, or forward further questions, do not hesitate to consult the licensing consultants at Personal Licence Training Ltd, our corporate sponsors- call 0845 388 5472 or email

    Wishing you the best of luck with your business venture!

  4. Ed Morrison says:

    Hello, I am looking to sell home made alcohol based infusions to pubs/bars/restaurants and wanted to know if I need a licence to sell alcohol business to business, I will not be selling direct to public (not for now anyway) and only to other businesses. The alcohol will be bought from supermarkets/warehouses and the infusions will be made in my house. Will I also need a premises licence for this?
    Thank you for your feedback

  5. Mark says:

    Hi. There are two forms of alcohol licence: 1: the Personal Licence 2: the Premises Licence

    1: The Personal Licence allows a person to sell or supply alcohol within a licensed premises. By law, every applicant must first complete a short course on responsible retail, known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH). You can then use your APLH certificate to apply to your local licensing authority (your local council) for a personal licence.
    Our sponsors, Personal Licence Training Ltd, provide training for the APLH certificate and can also process your personal licence application ( 01527 544780).
    This articles gives a step by step guide:

    2: Premises Licence. If you are setting up a venue that sells alcohol, the building will require a premises licence. Several documents will need to be drawn up, including a 1:10 scale drawing, an operating schedule and a risk assessment.
    Again, our sponsors, Personal Licence Training Ltd, can process your application or simply offer consultation and advice.

    Please post again if you would like more information on a specific licence, personal or premises.

  6. massimo says:

    hi, i need to apply for a alcohol licence,can you help me?!?!!?what i have to do??

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