You will need a premises licence if you are providing licensable activities at a permanent premises. Licensable activities include the sale and supply of alcohol as well as 'regulated entertainment.' For a full list of licensable activities and what is classified as regulated entertainment, read: Gov.UK, licensable activities
All businesses selling or supplying alcohol must also have a designated premises supervisor (DPS). The DPS is the person responsible for the day to day running of the business. In order to be a DPS the person must hold a personal licence
The cost of a premises licence depends on the rateable value band of your premises. You can find out what this is from the Valuation Office website For each rateable value band there is a fee, in addition to this you will also need to pay an annual maintenance fee to the council.
If you are in band D or E and are exclusively selling or supplying alcohol you will also be charged a 'multiplier' fee. To find out the fees applicable to you, go to: premises licence fees
Applying for a premises licence
You will need to apply for a licence from your licensing authority. The licensing authority is usually the council where your business premises is located in. If you do not know who that is, you can find out by going to Gov.UK, find your local council
In the West Suffolk area, there are two licensing authorities. If you want to apply for a premises licence, click on the council that applies to your business:
- Forest Heath District Council - application for a premises licence
- St Edmundsbury Borough Council - application for a premises licence
To make change to a premises licence
In most cases the premises licence holder can apply to amend the existing licence. You will need to complete a 'variation form' to request this. There are two types of variation form:
- A minor variation form (for small changes such as the layout of the premises, a reduction in licensing hours or removal of a licensable activity). You do not have the right to appeal the decision made on a minor variation form. Applying for a minor variation is £89.
- A full variation form (for larger changes such as if you wish to increase licensing hours or add a licensable activity). You do have the right to appeal the decision made on a full variation form. The cost of a full variation depends on the rateable value of your premises. You can view these fees in the 'premises and club premises fees' guide in the related documents section.
You can also apply to make other changes to a premises licence such as amending the DPS or changing the address. For details of how to make changes and for links to all the relevant application forms, select the licensing authority that applies to you:
- Forest Heath District Council, how to change a premises licence
- St Edmundsbury Borough Council, how to change a premises licence
If your premises is under construction, being altered or extended with the purpose of providing licensable activities then you will need to apply for a provisional statement instead. You will need to apply for a premises licence once your building work is complete. Apply to your relevant licensing authority:
- Forest Heath application for a provisional statement
- St Edmundsbury application for a provisional statement
How long is a premises licence valid for?
A licence is valid as long as the business is operating.
Does tacit authorisation apply?
Yes, a decision should be reached within 42 days for new applications and variations.