How To: Apply For Your Alcohol License

4 Sep 2015

Alcohol is a great addition to any special event or new launch but there is more to the sale and supply of alcohol than simply serving drinks and watching people enjoy themselves. Due to the social implications surrounding the sale of alcohol, if you intend on selling or supplying alcohol to the public then you will need to apply for a license from the local council and take responsibility for those you’re selling alcohol to. If this is your first time applying for an Alcohol License, or running a bar, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Get the right license

So, there are two types of license that you may need to apply for. The first is called a Personal License and this allows you to sell alcohol on behalf of a business that already has a premise license. A Premise License is required for any business or organisation that sells or supplies alcohol on a permanent basis. All these premises must have a designated premise supervisor which is the person responsible for the daily running of the business. When you are granted the license, you then take responsibility for the sale and supply of alcohol and can do so for several other premises.

There are, however, certain conditions you must also meet to abide by for your license and here is your checklist.

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No promos

Offering the likes of ‘quad vods’ and £1 pint deals is considered irresponsible because if people can drink more for less, they will do to ensure they get the most from their money. This, of course, can lead to people being drunk and disorderly, criminal behaviour and putting themselves at a health risk. If you are a sporting event or offering a sit down meal you can bend these rules ever so slightly, but for the most, stick to normal retail prices. This also ties in with the newest amendment to the licensing rules which prohibits the sale of alcohol under the cost of duty plus VAT.

Free H2O

What better to wash down a shot of tequila with than a nice ice cold glass of tap water! It is your legal responsibility to provide FREE tap water to your guests. Ensuring there is always water available may also avoid lots of nuisances that are caused when people get too drunk such as fights and vomiting all over the floor.

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Small, medium or large?

You may plan on serving your customers throat burning cocktails and copious double shots to test their limits, but you must still offer smaller measures to customers. You should verbally inform people of this when they order and disclose it on the menu so people are aware. For example, if someone asks simply for a ‘glass of wine’ you need to inform them that smaller measures are available.

Keep it legal

Selling to a minor can result in a criminal record and the removal of your license. If someone doesn’t look over the age of 18 then they must provide photographic ID. Inform all of your staff of this because you will be responsible for your own team and their actions.

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So now you have all the information for applying for an alcohol license so you can host a fun event or offer alcohol to customers. Always remember that in selling and supplying alcohol you will be held responsible for the safety of those on your premises so make sure you’re clued up on all the little details.

As always with alcohol you must be over 18 and be in the possession of a licensing qualification such as a BII Level II examination certificate. You must also provide a criminal conviction disclosure form and information of any previous criminal convictions you may have.