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Under the Licensing Act 2003, a premises licence is required for the sale or supply of alcohol. The licence must also name a designated premises supervisor – the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the business and who is the primary contact for the licensing authorities and police.

Premises licences are issued by the licensing authority in which the premises are situated.

Objections can be raised against an application for a new licence or a variation of an existing licence. It is also possible to trigger a review of an existing licence. The term used in the 2003 Act, regulations, and associated guidance is not “objections” but “representations”. All representations must be relevant to at least one of the licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder;
  • public safety;
  • the prevention of public nuisance;
  • the protection of children from harm.

The key document on which local authorities rely, in their role as licensing authorities, is Home Office guidance (revised April 2018) issued under section 182 of the 2003 Act.

The Gov.UK website gives an overview of alcohol licensing.

This Paper refers to the law in England and Wales.

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