Business development ยท 8 August 2018

The essential guide to alcohol licensing for new pub landlords

alcohol licensing
It?s crucial that before you begin the process to get your licence you know the ins and outs of your new business
Have you ever harboured dreams of launching your own pub? Whether it?s a gastro pub, cosy inn or sports bar, this career choice appeals many who see themselves as the perfect candidate for landlord of the year. However, getting to that point can be a time-consuming and confusing uphill battle.

Essentially, you must be clued up on everything to do with alcohol licensing and what it means for you. So that you?re up and running in no time, we?ve provided this essential guide to talk you through everything you need to know about this important piece of legislation.

Rules and regulations

If you?re in England or Wales and are looking to supply alcohol, you must have a licence that has been authorised by the licensing authority. Usually, this will be your local council and the legislation is overseen by the Home Office, and is defined is as follows:

  1. Businesses that sell or supply alcohol on a permanent basis, such as pubs, need to apply for a premises licence.
  2. Those who plan to authorise the sale of alcohol must apply for a personal licence, alongside the premises licence, if they are also the owner of the business in that premises.
To get your licence you?ll need to pay a fee and complete an application form to send to the local council. As well as the local authority, you will also have to send your application to the police and other responsible authorities; these responsible authorities can include:

  • Local fire and rescue
  • The primary care trust (PCT) or local health board (LHB)
  • Environmental health authority
  • Planning authority
  • Local trading standards
  • Any other licensing authority in whose area part of the premises is located.
It?s crucial that before you begin the process to get your licence you know the ins and outs of your new business. By knowing as much as possible, you will lower the risk of any potential stumbling blocks.

For example, business gas prices can differ depending on your provider, so it?s important you do your research if you want to keep your costs down. The same applies to your electricity costs too. By researching these in-depth, you can save hundreds of pounds each year which can go on other areas, such as staff wages or establishment upkeep.



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Your premises

Having a premises licence authorises you to use any premises for activities involving the sale of alcohol. To successfully apply for this licence, you will be asked a series of questions including the following:

  • General information regarding the premises such as the address.
  • Your details as an applicant.
  • The operating schedule, including the date you want the licence to start from on the premises.
  • You should indicate what licensable activities you wish to carry out by ticking the appropriate boxes on the form. You should also indicate what days and times you want the licence to be active from. This also includes the provision of regulated entertainment, such as indoor sporting events, live music and recorded music.
  • Under the new licensing laws, you should also stipulate who you wish to be the designated premises supervisor (DPS).
  • The opening hours of your premises.
  • How you intend to promote the four key licensing objectives, which are: the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm.
  • The planning of the premises and any advertising on or around the premises that you wish to use.

What is a personal licence and who needs on?

The general staff working in a pub aren?t required to hold a personal licence, but all public houses must have a premises supervisor that holds a personal licence.

If you are going to be the owner of the premises licence, then you would also apply to be the personal licence holder if the pub was your own business. Furthermore, anyone who works in a pub should be authorised to do so by the personal licence holder.

It?s important to take into consideration the public before you apply for this licence. This is because anyone running or managing a pub should do so in a professional fashion. If you don?t there could be unwanted disruption caused to the community.

With this information provided, you now have everything you need to know in order to get started with your application in the hope that one day in the near future you?ll be pouring the pints in your own pub ? cheers!

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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