Premises licence overview
Apply for a premises licence if you intend to sell alcohol or provide ‘licensable activities’ from a particular venue, unless you have a temporary event notice or club premises certificate.
Licensable activities include:
You’ll also need a licence if you provide the following types of entertainment:
You still need a licence even if the activities are for charity.
The rules regarding premises licences are in the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing Act 2003 (Premises licences and club premises certificates) Regulations 2005.
You don’t need a licence for some types of entertainment, including:
educational or promotional films
films shown as part of an exhibition in a museum or gallery
incidental music (live or recorded)
You must be, or appoint, a designated premises supervisor (DPS) when you apply for a licence. A DPS must have a personal licence to sell alcohol.
There may be other conditions added to your licence, such as having an age-checking policy if you sell alcohol. Read a guide to ensuring that underage sales of alcohol do not take place.
Displaying your licence
You must display the ‘licence summary’ at your premises where it can be easily seen.
The other pages of the licence should be kept safely at the premises. police or council officers can ask to inspect them at any time.
Length of licence
Most premises licences have an unlimited duration but you will have to pay an annual fee.
Fines and penalties
You can be fined up to £1,000 for failing to produce your licence on request.
If you carry out any licensable activities at your premises without a premises licence, you can be fined, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both.