To provide late-night refreshments, regulated entertainment and sell alcohol, you need a licence from the local authority if you are in England and Wales.
The Live Music Act 2012
The Live Music Act 2012 (LMA) provides that any amplified live music played on the premises that are licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises is not a licensable activity when the live music is played between the hours of 8am and 11pm, provided the premises are open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises and when the audience is less than 200.
In terms of unamplified music, this is no longer a licensable activity between the hours of 8am and 11pm, no matter what the audience is and no matter where it is played (or sung). The other significant amendment introduced by the LMA is that the facilities for making music and the facilities for dancing are no longer licensable activities, whatever time and wherever they are provided
Any of the following may apply for a premises licence:
- anyone who uses or carries on a business in the premises to which the application relates
- a recognised club
- a charity
- a health service body
- a person who is registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 in relation to an independent hospital
- a chief police officer of a force in England and Wales
- anyone discharging a statutory or function under Her Majesty's prerogative
- a person from an educational institute
- any other permitted person.
Applicants must not be under 18 years of age.
A summary of the regulation relating to this licence
Applications must be sent to the Licensing Authority for the area where the premises are located.
Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by any required fee, an operating schedule, a plan of the premises and a form of consent from the premises supervisor (for applications where the sale of alcohol will be a licensable activity).
An operating schedule will include details of:
- the licensable activities
- the times when the activities will take place
- any other times when the premises will be open to the public
- in the case of applicants who wish to have a limited licence, the period the licence is required for
- information in respect of the premises supervisor
- whether any alcohol that is to be sold is for consumption on or off the premises or both
- the steps proposed to be taken to promote the licensing objectives
- any other required information.
Applicants may be required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to any other person or responsible body, eg the Local Authority, chief police officer or fire and rescue authority.
The Licensing Authority must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing must be held if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held the licence can be granted, granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded or the application can be rejected. Please read the leaflet on how to make a valid representations (pdf - 976kb)
The Licensing Authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations (ie representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious) and the chief of police.
Applications can also be made to vary or transfer a licence. A hearing may have to be heard if representations are made or conditions relating to a transfer are not met.
Other applications that can be made are applications for an interim authority notice following the death, incapacity or insolvency of a licence holder or review applications.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.
The EU Services Directive took effect in late December 2009 with an aim to open up the European Internal Market to cross-border trade in services. There is a requirement for Local Authorities to make certain licensing processes available online.
An online portal, "EUGO", has been established so that service providers can source information with regards to doing business within Europe. In the UK, the portal is called UK Welcomes and is hosted by Gov.UK.
Apply for a premises licence
Apply for a provisional statement
Apply for a Designated Premises Supervisor to be disapplied
Apply to vary your premises licence
Apply to transfer your premises licence
Apply for a notification of interest in premises under section 178
Apply for an interim authority notice
Consent to transfer form
Request to be removed as designated premises supervisor
Consent to be designated premises supervisor
Application to vary a designated premises supervisor
Notify us of a change of name or address
Make annual fee payment
Application for minor variation
Responsible Authority contacts (pdf - 84.5kb)
Failed Application Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. If an application for a licence is refused the failed applicant can appeal. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
Licence Holder Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. If an application is made by the chief police officer as detailed below, and interim steps are taken by the licensing authority, you may make representations. A hearing must be held within 48 hours of your representations.
A licence holder may appeal against any conditions attached to a licence, a decision to reject a variation application, a decision to reject a transfer application or a decision to exclude an activity or person as premises supervisor. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
An interested party or responsible authority may apply to the Licensing Authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the Licensing Authority. Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
The chief police officer for the police area where the premises are located can apply to the licensing authority for a review of the licence if the premises are licensed to sell alcohol by retail and a senior officer has given a certificate that they are of the opinion that the premises are associated with either serious crime, disorder, or both. A hearing will be held and the licence holder and other interested parties may make representations.
A chief police officer can give a notice to the Licensing Authority if they believe that the transfer of a licence to another, under a variation application, could undermine crime prevention objectives. Such a notice must be given within 14 days of receiving notification of the application.
Another person or responsible Authority may make representations in relation to a licence application or request the licensing body to review a licence.
Another person is defined as any one from MPs, Councillors, Residents and Businesses can make representations to a licensing application regardless of where they live. The representation must be valid and relate to the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.
Another person or responsible authority may apply to the Licensing Authority to review the premises licence. A hearing will be held by the Licensing Authority.
A chief police officer may make representations to the Licensing Authority for a review of the licence if the premises are licensed to sell alcohol by retail and a senior member of the force has given a certificate to state that in their opinion the premises are associated with serious crime, disorder, or both.
Another person or relevant authority who made relevant representations may appeal against the granting of a licence or against any condition, variation, licensable activity or premises supervisor decisions.
Appeals are made to a Magistrates' court within 21 days of notice of the decision.
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)
Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)
Telephone: 01372 732000