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Alcohol and entertainment licensing

Personal licences

A personal licence is required to authorise the retail sales of alcohol.

How to apply

  • Submit the application form to the licensing team


  • A fee of £37 is payable with the application

Eligibility, penalties and regulation summary

A Personal licence is required for individuals who may be engaged in making and authorising the sale or supply of alcohol.  Not every person retailing alcohol at premises licensed for that purpose will need a personal licence, but every sale or supply of alcohol must be at least authorised by such a licence holder.  The only exception is for community premises in respect of which a successful application has been made to disapply the usual mandatory conditions.
An applicant for a licence must apply to the local authority where they live.  Only one application can be made at any one time.  
To apply for a personal licence you must:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • hold a licensing qualification accredited by the Secretary of State (or which is certified as if it is such a qualification or is considered equivalent) or be a person as prescribed by the Secretary of State by regulations
  • not have forfeited a personal licence within five years of your application
  • not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence*
  • Relevant offence refers to the offences listed in the Act that could, on conviction, rule out the grant or renewal of a personal licence to the applicant concerned

Application evaluation process

Applications must be submitted on the prescribed form with the Disclosure of Convictions Declaration and be accompanied by the following:

  • the fee
  • a prescribed licensing qualification
  • your own criminal conviction certificate or a criminal record certificate or the results of a subject access search of the police national computer by the National Identification Service (important - note that criminal record/conviction certificates must be under one month old upon the date that the application is received by the authority)
  • two passport sized photographs (the photo must meet the same specification as Passports, Photocard Driving Licences or Identity Cards), one of which must be endorsed as a true likeness by a solicitor, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification

Will tacit consent apply

Tacit consent will not apply.

  • If tacit consent applies it means that an application is automatically approved if a decision is not made within a specified period.  In all other cases approval can only be obtained following the decision regardless of the time taken
  • It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact the Licensing Section

Renewal of Personal Licences

The requirement to renew a personal licence has been removed from the Licensing Act 2003 by the Deregulation Act 2015.

While personal licences issued before the Deregulation Act have expiry dates, these licences will remain valid and the expiry dates are no longer in effect.

Last updated Wednesday, 2nd August 2023

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