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Licence - entertainment

The Licensing Act 2003 introduces significant changes to licensing laws, joining up six previously separate licensing regimes: alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment houses and night cafes.

Will I need a licence?

If you are involved in any of the following you may need a licence:

  • Retail sale of alcohol  - this includes pubs, nightclubs, restaurants that serve alcohol, and off-licences.
  • Clubs supplying alcohol - this applies to clubs that satisfy certain conditions, that sell alcohol to members and guests.
  • Regulated entertainment - plays, films, indoor sports events, boxing and wrestling events, performing live music and playing recorded music (except incidental music), dance performances and providing facilities for music or dancing.
  • Late night refreshment - supplying hot food or drink to the public between 11pm and 5am, whether for consumption on or off the premises. Previously, late night takeaway food businesses did not require a licence whereas under the new system they will require a licence.

What types of licences are available under the new scheme?

  • Premises licences allow premises to be used for the sale of alcohol, provision of entertainment and/or provision of late night refreshment. These licences run forever unless surrendered or revoked.
  • Club premises certificates allow premises of a qualifying club to be used for the sale of alcohol and/or the provision of entertainment.
  • Temporary event notices allow premises to be used for the sale of alcohol, the provision of entertainment and/or the provision of late night refreshment for a period of up to 96 hours provided there are less than 500 people on the premises at any one time. Separate guidance notes are available on temporary event notices.
  • Personal licences, valid for ten years unless surrendered or revoked, are required to sell alcohol under a premises licence. You must apply to the licensing authority for the area you normally live in. Once granted, that authority remains the licensing authority for you even if you leave the area.

For further information please use the contact details top right. 

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