The Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 establishes a single integrated scheme for licensing premises that are used for the supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment, or to provide late night refreshment.

Permission to carry on some or all of these licensable activities are now contained in a single licence. In addition individuals are required to hold "Personal Licenses" to supervise the sale of alcohol and all premises where alcohol is sold are also required to have a "Designated Premises Supervisor”.

The Act transfers alcohol licensing from licensing justices to Local Authorities. This brings six existing licensing regimes (alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment and night cafes) under the responsibility of a single authority, which cuts down on red tape.

The date for converting existing licences into premises licences has now passed and every business or club that sells hot food after 11pm, serves alcohol or puts on public entertainment that does not have a new licence on November 24 2005 will face prosecution if they continue to trade.

On Friday November 25 2005, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued Guidance for Interested Parties, such as local residents and businesses about:

  • How to make Representations
  • How to appeal a Licensing Authority decision
  • How to seek a Review of a licence

The above guidance notes, along with advice for applicants, residents, licensing authorities and police is available on the Home Office website

Alternatively you can contact your Local Authority for further information.

Guidance on how to complete the Operating Schedule with regard to fire safety as part of an application for a premises licence is contained in the followingGuidance Note

Further advice can be found on the procedure forcalculating occupancy capacity in your premises.

Further advice on your responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, including fire risk assessment, can be found on theCommunities and Local Government website.