If you’re buying a pub, restaurant, or shop, it’s important to check that the premises license is current and active. A lapsed personal license has 28 days in which to be reinstated, after that time it is gone for good and a new premises license must be applied for.

You’ll also need to ensure that the premises have a personal license holder – this is someone who has been authorized by the local authority and sells alcohol on the premises under the licensing act 2003. Without a personal license holder, you won’t be able to sell alcohol at your pub, restaurant, or shop.

If the pub, restaurant, or shop you’re buying doesn’t have an existing premises license, you will need to make an application for a new license. This can be an intimidating and time-consuming process if are new to it.


What is a pub license and what does it allow you to do?

A pub license, also known as a premises license, is what you need in order to sell alcohol on a regular basis from your pub. If you also want to sell hot food and drink late at night after 11 PM or provide public entertainment, you will need to apply for a pub license for public safety.

Once your pub license application is approved, you will be issued with a premises license summary. This document must be displayed in a prominent place at your pub so that customers can see it.

The pub license will state the name and address of the premises, the types of alcohol that can be sold, the hours during which alcohol can be sold, any conditions attached to the license, and the name of the designated premises supervisor (DPS).

As per the licensing act 2003, If you are not a DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor) yourself, you will need to appoint someone who is in order to apply for the pub license. They will then need to complete a form known as an ‘accredited persons’ declaration.

How do I apply for a pub license?

To apply for a pub license, you will need to submit an application to your licensing authority. The application must include:

  • The name and address of the premises
  • The name and contact details of the licensee of the premises
  • A floor plan of the premises
  • A description of the proposed use of the premises
  • The days and hours when alcohol will be sold
  • The days and hours when hot food and drink will be sold (if applicable)
  • The days and hours when public entertainment will be provided (if applicable)

The cost of a pub license varies depending on the local authority in which the premises is located. You can expect to pay anywhere from £100 to £1,000 for your pub license application.

Benefits of having a pub license:

There are many benefits of applying for a personal license, such as:

  • Allowing you to sale of alcohol on a regular basis from your pub
  • Allowing you to sell hot food and drink after 11 PM
  • Allowing you to provide public entertainment
  • Giving your customers peace of mind that you are operating legally and free from crime and disorder
  • Avoiding any hefty fines that could be issued if you operate without a license

Pub license also shows your commitment to running a safe and legal business to supply alcohol.

Things to consider before applying for a pub license:

Before you start the sale of alcohol or apply for a license you must know the following things:

A pub license or alcohol licensing is usually valid for 10 years, after which time it will need to be renewed. If there are any changes to the premises or the way in which it is operated during this 10-year period, you will need to apply for a variation of the pub license to supply alcohol.

Any individual over the age of 18 can apply for a pub license, as long as they are also a local authority or Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). To be a DPS, you must hold a valid Personal License (APLH).

If you don’t have licensed premises in England and Wales, you are caught selling alcohol, you could be fined up to £20,000. You may also be liable for any costs incurred by the local authority in relation to investigating and prosecuting you. In addition, your premises could be closed down for up to three months for relevant licensing.

So, it’s well worth ensuring that you have a valid pub license before you start selling alcohol from your pub!