Wed 16 Apr 2014

Premises licences - key issues

In this factsheet the key issues relating to premises licences are outlined.

Premises licence

  • Familiarise yourself with the conditions which are attached to your licence. Alcohol may not be sold unless under and in accordance with a premises licence or occasional licence. To do otherwise is a criminal offence.
  • The licence, or a copy of the licence must be kept on the premises.


  • A summary of the licence must be prominently displayed at the premises.
  • A notice in the prescribed form must be displayed at each place on the premises where alcohol is sold, advising that it is an offence for a person under the age of 18 to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on the premises.
  • A notice must also be displayed, advising whether those under the age of 18 are permitted on the premises and, if so, those parts of the premises to which they are allowed access.

Personal licence

  • If a personal licence holder is charged with an offence, the personal licence must be produced to the Court.
  • Where a personal licence holder has been convicted of a criminal offence, he must, no later than one month after the date of the conviction, advise the Licensing Board for the area in which he is working that there has been such a conviction. He must specify the nature of the offence and the date of conviction. The Board which issued the personal licence must also be advised. Similar provisions apply in relation to any convictions whilst a personal licence application is pending.
  • If a personal licence holder changes name or address, that licence holder must advise the Licensing Board which issued the licence of this within one month.
  • A personal licence holder can only be the premises manger for one set of licensed premises. Only one premises manager can be nominated for each set of premises.
  • A personal licence must be renewed every ten years. A personal licence holder must undertake refresher training every five years.
  • A personal licence holder must be able to produce his personal licence at any time when he is on the licensed premises.

Premises manager (other than for clubs)

  • A premises manager must be nominated and noted on the premises licence. A premises manager must hold a personal licence
  • Steps need to be taken immediately when:-

(i) The premises manager ceases to work at the premises;

(ii) The premises manager becomes incapable for any reason of acting as a premises manager;

(iii) The premises manager dies; or

(iv) The personal licence is revoked or suspended

Unless notice is given to the Board not later than seven days after the occurrence of that event, alcohol should not be sold but if the Board is told within seven days that the manager has ceased to be responsible, there is then a six week window of opportunity from the date of the event happening for a variation application to be made to substitute another individual as the premises manager. Unless an application for variation is lodged within six weeks, the Board must vary the Premises Licence so there is no specified premises manager and alcohol then cannot be sold.

Notification of change of details

  • A premises licence holder must notify the Board in relation to any change in the licence holder’s name and/or address, or the name and/or address of the Premises Manager. Notification must be given within one month of the change.

Conviction of licence holder

  • Where a premises licence holder is charged with an offence he must produce to the Court his premises licence at the first relevant appearance.
  • Where the holder of a premises licence or any connected person is convicted of an offence, the licence holder must, within one month of the date of conviction, provide the Board with details of the conviction. The notice must specify the nature of the offence and the date of conviction. Similar provisions apply in relation to any convictions whilst a premises licence application is pending.


  • A premises licence holder will need to apply to the Licensing Board well in advance if he wishes to vary his licence. An application can be made to the Board to vary:

(i) The licensing conditions (expect the mandatory conditions);

(ii) The operating plan;

(iii) The layout plan; or

(iv) To substitute a new premises manager

Premises Licence Annual fees

  • An annual fee must be paid. Annual fees are all payable on 1 October of each year.


  • All staff who serve alcohol must have been trained. A person who holds a personal licence can deliver in-house training to colleagues.
  • The Training of Staff Regulations set out that any person involved in the sale or service of alcohol must be trained for at least two hours by either a personal licence holder or a recognised trainer in the matters set out in the Regulations. A training record must be kept on the premises.

Authority to Serve Alcohol

  • Every sale of alcohol must be authorised either generally or specifically by either the premises manager or by another personal licence holder. A written record of this authorisation should be kept.

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