Alcohol and entertainment licensing – club premises certificate
To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from your local authority.
In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003.
Application fees vary – licensing fees.
Clubs must be qualifying clubs. A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy.
- A person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
- That club rules state that those becoming member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club
- That the club is established and conducted in good faith
- That the club has at least 25 members
- That alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf or by the club
Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:
- That alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members
- That no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club
- That there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club
Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.
Relevant miners’ welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the coal industry act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the coal industry welfare organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the miners’ welfare act 1952. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the recreational charities act 1958.
A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes.
Applications should be made to the local licensing authority, which will be the local authority where the premises are situated.
Applications should be submitted with a plan of the premises which must be clear and legible in all material respects, a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.
A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format and which includes information on:
- The activities of the club
- The times the activities are to take place
- Other opening times
- If alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both
- The steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
- Any other information that is required
Applicants are required to advertise their application by displaying a notice at the premises. In addition the notice must be advertised in a newspaper which circulates in the area of the premises within 10 working days of the application being made.
If no representations are received 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 or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded or the application can be rejected.
The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations and the chief officer of police.
If there any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.
If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the local licensing authority of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.
A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.
The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.
Fees may be payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate.
No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK welcomes service or use our contact details.
In the event of a failed or refused application please contact the licensing team in the first instance.
A failed applicant will receive notice of the refusal of an application for a certificate or variation of a certificate from the local licensing authority. If an application is rejected, the applicant may appeal the decision. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision appealed.
Licence holder redress
If a local licensing authority refuses an application for a new club certificate or a variation of an existing certificate then the licence holder may appeal the decision. A licence holder can appeal against a decision to put conditions on a certificate or to exclude any club activity. Appeals may also be made against the variation of any condition.
Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.
A club may appeal against the withdrawing of a certificate.
Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision appealed.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made by you – preferably in the form of a letter or e-mail to the trader (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked please contact the licensing team. Alternatively, if you are located in the UK, visit citizens advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European consumer centre.
Any complaints about the application process or any other concerns should be made direct to the licensing team in the first instance.
Please contact the licensing team in the first instance.
Public registers or databases
Available on request, please contact the licensing team.