Alcohol licensing can be daunting to the uninitiated but Flogas, specialists in commercial gas, takes you through everything you need to know about this important piece of legislation
With high fish and potato prices eating into shops’ profit margins, adding alcohol to the offering could be a great way to generate an extra revenue stream for your business. The profit margins are high and depending on what you serve, you could see a large proportion of your takings driven by booze. Before you can serve alcohol, however, you’ll need to apply for a licence and this involves following several rules and regulations.
The general rules
It’s imperative that any business wanting to sell or supply alcohol in England and Wales must have a licence authorised by the licensing authority – usually a local council. This legislation is overseen by the Home Office, and is defined is as follows:
1) Businesses that sell or supply alcohol on a permanent basis need to apply for a premises licence.
2) Those who plan to authorise the sale of alcohol must apply for a personal licence, alongside the premises licence, if they are also the owner of the business in that premises.
You will have to pay for this and complete an application form which you send to the local council. As well as the local authority, you will also have to send your application to the police and other responsible authorities; these responsible authorities can include:
- Local fire and rescue
- The primary care trust (PCT) or local health board (LHB)
- Environmental health authority
- Planning authority
- Local trading standards
- Any other licensing authority in whose area part of the premises is located.
What the licence does is authorises the use of any premises (defined in the act as a vehicle, vessel, or moveable structure) for activities involving the sale of alcohol. To apply for this licence and be successful, you will have to answer a series of questions, such as:
- General information regarding the premises, including the address.
- Your details as an applicant.
- The operating schedule, including the date you want the licence to start from on the premises.
- You should indicate what licensable activities you wish to carry out by ticking the appropriate boxes on the form. You should also indicate what days and times you want the licence to be active from. This also includes the provision of regulated entertainment, such as indoor sporting events, live music and recorded music.
- You must also stipulate who you wish to be the designated premises supervisor (DPS) under the new licensing laws.
- The opening hours of your premises.
- How you intend to promote the four key licensing objectives, which are: the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm.
- The planning of the premises and any advertising on or around the premises that you wish to use.
General staff in an establishment don’t need a personal licence, but all businesses with a liquor licence must have a premises supervisor that holds a personal licence.
If you are going to be the owner of the premises licence, then you would also apply to be the personal licence holder if the restaurant or takeaway was your own business. Furthermore, anyone who works with alcohol should be authorised to do so by the personal licence holder.
With this information, you’ve got everything you need to get started with your application— cheers!