Looking to serve alcohol? What are a business owner’s considerations for a Premises Licence

Helen Marsh
Helen Marsh

Published: May 31st, 2024

5 mins read

What is a Premises Licence?

Put simply, a Premises Licence can authorise the sale or supply alcohol from a property.

A Premises Licence is required if licensable activities are to be provided at the Premises. Licensable activities include the following:

  • Selling or suppling alcohol – for consumption on and/or off the property;

  • Providing public entertainment; and

  • Providing late night hot food and drink.

An application for a Premises Licence is made to the licensing authority within the Local Authority where the property is situated.  Forbes Solicitors can assist you with applying for a new Premises Licence.

What do you need to apply for a Premises Licence?

You will need to be aware of the non-domestic rateable value of the premises as this will determine the fee to be paid to the licensing authority for the Premises Licence application. There is a separate annual fee thereafter.

When applying for a Premises Licence, you will need to consider the following:

  • How many people do you anticipate being at the premises when the licensable activity is being carried out;

  • Is there an individual within your business who holds a valid personal licence and who will be the mandatory Designated Premises Supervisor (“DPS”) under the new Premises Licence. This individual will need to have completed a course which can take time to undertake;

  • How will you promote the licensing authority’s licensing objectives (prevention of crime, public safety, public nuisance, protection of children)?

  • A detailed plan of the premises and any outdoor seating areas will need to be provided along with the proposed opening hours;

  • Timing – a copy of the Premises Licence application must be served on the relevant authorities e.g. police, fire authority etc. and the application must be advertised by displaying a sign at or outside the premises and also in a locally-circulating newspaper which gives 28 days’ notice for any representations to be raised in relation to your application.

  • Fees: there is a licensing authority application fee and an advertising fee payable in additional to legal fees.

What if you only need a licence to sell alcohol for a short time?

It is possible to complete a Temporary Events Notice which allows you to hold one-off events or use the temporary licence until the permanent one is granted. There are restrictions on the number of applications which can be made, the number of people at the event and how long the temporary event lasts for.

Forbes Solicitors can work with you to complete a Temporary Events Notice and to assist with any questions that you have.

Consequences of not having a valid Premises Licence.  

Partaking in licensable activity without holding a valid Premises Licence is a criminal offence. You could face potential fines of up to £20,000 and be subject to imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both, if you are found to be selling alcohol without a valid Premises Licence.

It is important to apply for the Premises Licence well in advance of your intended opening date or event. We can help you navigate through the Premises Licence application from start to finish including applications for new Premises Licences, transfers of existing Premises Licences, variations to existing Premises Licences and Temporary Events Notices. if you have any other lease issues, please contact our Property Litigation team.


  • New applications -  £1,500 + VAT plus the variable licensing authority application fee and advertising fee

  • Transfers of existing Premises Licences -  £500 + VAT plus the variable licensing authority application fee

  • Temporary Events Notice - £250 + VAT plus the variable licensing authority application fee

How can we help?

Complete the form opposite, let us know a few details, and one of our team will get back to you shortly. Or you can call us or request a callback.

0800 689 3206 - Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 17:00

Request a call back

By submitting your enquiry you agree that Forbes can contact you.

© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This website has implemented reCAPTCHA v3 and your use of reCAPTCHA v3 is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.