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How to get a License to sell Alcohol

This guide is not intended to be a full explanation of licensing regulations but only an indication to unlicensed shops of the steps they will need to take, and approximate costs of becoming licensed – based on Suma’s experience. Your Local Council Licensing Team will be able to take you through the process if you decide it’s for you. Last updated January 2007.

Step Action Notes Time Cost
1. Forms from local council where your shop is located Contact your local Council Licensing department and request forms. Most councils will have a pack they can send with information to help you through the process. You need:
• Application for a Premises Licence
• Consent of a Premises Supervisor
• Declaration
• Certificate of Posting of Public Notice and the Public Notices (Notice of Application for Grant of premises licence)
2 days none
2. Personal Licence Form You will need at least one Personal Licence Holder. They must be over 18 and be responsible with no relevant convictions. They have to be licensed with the local council in the area they live in. If there is no Personal Licence holder e.g. they leave you cannot sell alcohol so chose someone permanent or a couple of people. Contact their local council for the application forms Disclosure of Convictions and Application for a Personal Licence 2 days none
3. Personal Licence Holder Qualification The Personal Licence Holder will need a BIIAB qualification – find a local course. The course also covers the application process – which is really helpful. There’s a multi-choice exam at the end and results available within a week. Re-sits can be done easily without re-sitting the whole course. Try your local college or search the internet for a course. If you struggle contact BII – telephone: 01276 684449 – e-mail: reception@bii.org, www.bii.org 2 weeks 160
4. Get a Police check certificate Form DP1 available from the Police. You will get a certificate back which will confirm that you do or don’t have convictions. You will need to supply two forms of identification with your request for the Police check. (Alternatively you can apply online to disclosure Scotland at www.disclosurescotland.co.uk basic disclosures cost £20 and take about 14 days.) No more than 40 days 10
5. Photographs You need two passport type photos for your Personal Licence. They will need certifying as a true likeness of you on the back by someone of standing as with a passport application. The Personal Licence Application will state exactly what’ s required. 5.00
6. Send off your Personal Licence Once you’ve collected all the info you need you can complete and send off your Personal Licence Application. 30 days 37.00
7. Get a plan of your premises You need to mark the plans with fire escapes, toilets, kitchens and other relevant information as directed by the Premises License application form. If you don’t have plans you may have to contact your landlord who may charge you for this. ? ?
8. Complete the Premises Licence Form It’s a long form but not as bad as it looks. Photocopy the form first so that if you make a lot of mistakes you’ve got a spare copy. The main areas covered are business and people information, activities you want to do, opening times, how you operate (see step 9) and how you meet the four licensing objectives.
• Protection of Children From Harm
• Public Nuisance
• Prevention of Crime and Disorder
• Public safety
one hour none
9. Operating Schedule This section is best done on a separate document and attached to your application – you can then make corrections and change it without redoing the whole application. You need to simply spell out how your shop operates and how you will ensure that you meet the four licensing objectives (above), cover things like number of staff, training, age checks, security, health and safety 3 hours none
10. Nominate a Premises Supervisor Each premises must have a Premises Supervisor, who is also a Personal Licence Holder. They will be first point of contact if there’s any trouble. Once they’ve got their Personal Licence, they will need to complete the Consent of a Premises Supervisor form to show they agree to be nominated for the role. This form is sent off with the Premises Licence in step 14 none
11. Checking your application Talk to your local Licensing Team about any points you are unsure about. Are there other licensed shops in the area who could read through your application for you or even the tutors from the licensing course? 2 days none
12. Copy the application You need to post copies of your application to a wide number of authorities to give them chance to object: Your local Police, Fire, Environmental Health, Planning, Social Services, Health & Safety Executive, Trading Standards are a good start. Your application pack will probably give you guidance and may even give you their addresses 2 hours 6.00
13. Advertise your application You need to put an advert in the local paper to announce you are applying for a Licence. Wording for the advert is usually provided with your application forms. Time your advert to be in the paper a few days (but no more than ten) after you post the application off. 25.00
14. Send off your Application Make sure you include everything – there’s usually a checklist. Cost is dependant on the rateable value of your business (and extra costs if there are more than 5,000 people on the premises at any time). 635.00 max
15. Public Notice Fill in and stick up the Notice of Application for Grant of Premises Licence on a nearby lamp post. This has to stay up 28 days. When you eventually take it down you need to complete the final form and send it in to confirm you’ve had the Notice up. 28 days none
16. Relax Your local licensing team may contact you about you application for clarification if needed – but if there’s no objections you’ll be putting your first case of Suma beer on the shelf in a few weeks. none
17. Annual Fee There is an annual fee to pay to keep your licence 350 max
18. Personal Licence Renewal These last for ten years – you will need to ensure that they are renewed at this time

Conclusion – Based on Suma’s experience, getting a licence to sell alcohol could cost 900.00 – if your premises has a lower rateable value (step 14) then this could be much lower. Based on Suma’s experience it could take about 4 months – most of this time is spent in waiting for thing to be sent back to you.

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