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Running a pub

What you need to know about alcohol licensing

Running a pub is a dream job for many people


So, you want to run your own pub? It’s a dream shared by many, whether it’s a gastro pubs or cosy in. For many, the thought of being the landlord of their own establishment excites but getting to that point can often be time consuming and confusing.

Before you are voted landlord of the year, though, you must know everything there is to know about alcohol licensing and what it will mean for you.

So that you’re smoothly set up in no time, Flogas, specialists in business gas, have compiled all that’s needed to know about this important piece of legislation.

The general rules

If your business is located in England or Wales and you wish to sell or supply alcohol, you must hold a valid licence that has been 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, such as pubs, 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 complete an application form and send it to the local council alongside a set fee. 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.

Premises licences

With a licence, you will be authorised for the use of any premises for any activities which involve the sale of alcohol. To successfully apply for this licence, you will be asked a series of questions including the following:

  • General information regarding the premises such as 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.
  • Under the new licensing laws, you should also stipulate who you wish to be the designated premises supervisor (DPS).
  • 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.

Personal licences

You do not require a personal licence if you’re general staff in a pub. However, all pubs must have a premises supervisor that holds a personal licence.

If you are the owner of the premises licence, then you would also apply to be the personal licence holder if the pub was your own business. Furthermore, anyone who works in a pub should be authorised to do so by the personal licence holder.

It’s important to ensure that anyone running or managing a pub should do so in a professional fashion. With this information, you’ve got everything you need to get started with your application in the hope that one day you’ll be pouring the pints in your own pub. Here’s to you!



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