Clubs such as working men's or rugby clubs are organisations where members join together for a particular purpose and may combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for its members. These clubs should apply for a club premises certificate.
Club premises licence summary
A club premises certificate authorises you to supply alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club. In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol except to guests.
This is because the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the exchange of money is simply to preserve equity between members, where one may consume more than another. All applications are subject to a fee.
Club premises eligibility criteria
Clubs must meet set criteria. Please view the Licensing Act 2003
hearing rules regarding this, or see the DCMS website
. The general conditions a qualifying club must satisfy are:
- A person must not be given membership privileges until there has been an interval of at least two days between membership application/nomination and their membership being granted.
- The club rules state those becoming a member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming a member and being admitted to the club.
- The club must be established and conducted in good faith.
- It must have at least 25 members.
- Alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf of, or by the club.
- The alcohol purchased and supplied is done by elected members over 18 years of age.
- No person, at the expense of the club, receives any payment or commission in regard to the purchase of alcohol.
- There are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club.
- If a registered industrial and provident society, or friendly society, the club may qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club under the control of the members or a committee of members.
- Relevant miners' welfare institutes can be considered if the premises of the institute is held on a trust under the Recreational Charities Act 1958. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board, consisting of at least two thirds of people appointed by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. If the board cannot be made up of the above, it can be managed by at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners’ Welfare Act 1952.
Application evaluation process
Any premises that is occupied and used regularly for club purposes should apply for a club premises certificate.
All applications should be made to the local authority where the premises is situated and a copy must also be given to the seven responsible authorities
, along with the accompanying documents on the same day.
The applicant is required to advertise by displaying a sign on the club premises and placing an advertisement in a locally circulating newspaper.
Please submit all applications with the following information:
- a plan of the premises at a scale of 1:100, or to a scale as otherwise agreed in writing with the local authority
- a copy of the rules of the club
- any applicable fees
- the club operating schedule, including:
- the activities of the club
- the times the activities are to take place
- other opening times
- whether alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises, or both
- the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives:
- prevention of crime and disorder
- public safety
- prevention of public nuisance
- protection of children from harm
The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.
How to apply
If there is any alteration to the rules, name or address of the club before an application is determined, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate has already been issued, this must be sent to the licensing authority along with the alteration details.
A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest for the authority to process your application before it can be granted. If you haven’t heard anything within a reasonable period, please contact the local authority either online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service
Failed application redress
If your application is refused, please notify your local authority. You may then appeal the decision to the local magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision.
Licence holder redress
Please contact your local authority. You can appeal against a refusal, withdrawal, decision to place or vary conditions on a certificate, and an exclusion of any club activity. Appeals must be made to the local magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision.
In the event of a complaint we advise to first contact the trader, preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery. If this doesn’t work and you are located in the UK, please contact citizen’s advice
If you are outside the UK, please contact UK European Consumer Centre
. A club member may request a review of the certificate, and any appeals against decisions made should be done within 21 days.
Any interested party may provide objections to the local licensing authority before a certificate is granted or amended. If necessary, a hearing will be held to consider the application and the feedback given. An interested party:
- is a person living near the premises, or a body representing them
- is a person involved in a business near the premises, or a body representing them
- can request a review of the club premises certificate
- can appeal if they argue a certificate should not have been granted, or that addition conditions should be made
- must make any appeals to the local magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision appealed