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Licensing

The bureaucracy and complexity of licensing law can seem daunting, particularly since the consequences of getting it wrong can be disastrous for a business – owners and employees alike.

Napthens is one of the few law firms in the country with its own dedicated licensing department.  Our specialists have many years’ experience of working with businesses in the leisure industry, and they have built up strong working relationships with Local Authorities across England and Wales.

We keep businesses up to date with the latest issues in licensing and our straight-forward, plain-English advice helps ensure our clients are best placed to make the right decisions.  We spend our days dealing with businesses in the sector so we know the challenges they face and the intricacies of the way they operate.

Working alongside specialists from our property and commercial teams, we provide an all-round service tailored to your needs – helping you remain compliant with the law, while keeping a commercial eye on your business goals.

Contact a member of the licensing team for advice on:

Related Videos

  • Licensing News
  • Licensing FAQs
  • Licensing Glossary

I am buying a property that I want to convert into a restaurant. Is there anything I need to consider before I start to trade?
Some form of permission is required whenever you carry on a licensable activity, which includes the sale by retail of alcohol, providing regulated entertainment, the provision of late night refreshment etc. For a restaurant where the activities are likely to be carried out routinely on a permanent basis, a premises licence would be the most appropriate permission. A premises licence can take four to eight weeks to obtain and if you intend to sell alcohol you will also need a personal licence which can take longer, so licences should be considered at an early stage when buying a premises or looking to set up a new business.

I run a nightclub and the Police have told me that I need to employ door supervisors over the weekend. I have never done that before and don’t see any need to. Do I have to do what they say?
It is common that a premises licence will contain a condition requiring door supervisors to be utilised at certain types of premises. If it is a condition on your premises licence then you would be advised to either use them (given that breach of a premises licence condition is punishable by an unlimited fine and / or six months in prison) or vary your licence to remove the condition. If it is not a condition on your premises licence then you are not legally required to use them, but if the Police feel strongly that door supervisors are needed then they could apply for the premises licence to be reviewed by the Licensing Committee to try to make it a condition. Conditions should only be placed on a premises licence where the committee considers them to be “appropriate” and “proportionate”.

I run a pub and want to stay open to show the ‘big fight’ which is on later than we normally trade. Can I?
If the pub is an existing business then it should already be covered by a premises licence which will state what activities you are permitted to carry on at the premises, what times you are permitted to carry them on and usually what times the premises are permitted to remain open to the public. There will also be a set of conditions that govern how you carry on the permitted activities. Showing a live television program is not a licensable activity so it is likely to come down to the hours on the licence. If you wish to remain open later than the hours that are permitted by licence then you will either have to vary the licence to extend the hours on a permanent basis or submit a temporary events notice to extend them temporarily.

I work in a bar and the owner has recently promoted me and asked me to become the Designated Premises Supervisor. What does this mean?
Every premises licence which allows the sale of alcohol should have a Designated Premises Supervisor and that is the person who has day-to-day responsibility for the running of the premises. To be a Designated Premises Supervisor you need to have a personal licence. To obtain that you need to sit a course and pass an exam, obtain a DBS check and make an application to your local authority.

  • Malcolm Ireland
    Head of Leisure & Licensing
  • Samantha Faud
    Leisure & Licensing
  • Suzanne Marchese
    Licensing
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