Club Premises Certificates (Licensing Act 2003)

Permission summary

To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from the Licensing Authority. In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003.

Eligibility Criteria

Clubs must be qualifying clubs. A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy. These are:

  • a person may not be given membership, or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges, without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted;
  • that club rules state that those becoming members without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club;
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith;
  • that the club has at least 25 members;
  • that alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf of or by the club.

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:

  • that alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members;
  • that no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club;
  • that there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club.

Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of 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. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

Please refer to the relevant guidance note for the procedure to be followed when submitting an application, and to the plans guidance at the bottom of the page. If you require any assistance in completing the forms please contact the Licensing Team on 020 7341 5152.

Regulation Summary

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes. See the regulations for club premises certificates for further information

Application evaluation process

Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by the required fee, plans (if applicable) a copy of the club rules, and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format and which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club
  • the times the activities are to take place
  • other opening times
  • if 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
  • any other information that is required

If there are any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the local licensing authority of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.

The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

Fees may be payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate. Please see the schedule of fees for further details.

Applicants may be required to advertise their application and to give notice of the application to any other person or responsible body, for example the local authority, chief police officer or fire and rescue authority. Please see the guidance notes below for further details of the advertising and notification requirements for particular applications and templates for the public notices.

If no representations are received the licensing authority must grant the application, which can be subject to conditions. A hearing must be held if any representations are made in respect of the application. If a hearing is held the certificate can be granted or granted subject to additional conditions, licensable activities listed in the application can be excluded, or the application can be rejected.

The licensing authority will serve a notice of its decision on the applicant, any person who has made relevant representations (i.e. representations that were not deemed frivolous or vexatious) and the chief of police.

If you require any assistance in completing the forms please contact the Licensing Team on 020 7341 5152

Apply online

You are strongly advised to save a copy of your original application in case there are any amendments that need to be made on the form and it needs to be resubmitted. The online forms should only be used for applications which will be submitted via the online facility. In all other cases see Apply via Post for the relevant form.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes – for applications made online and are unopposed at the end of the consultation period.  This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.  The Council's target completion period for Licensing Act 2003 Club Premises Certificate applications are listed below:

  • New and full variation applications* - 40 days

*Minor variation applications cannot be given tacit authorisation as by law they are automatically refused if the authority has not determined the application after 15 days from receipt

Apply via Post

Applications for club premises certificates must be submitted on the prescribed forms, which are available in PDF format. If you require Word versions please contact the Licensing Team.

Please note that unlike online applications the applicant is required to send copies of their applications to the relevant responsible authorities. Please see the list of responsible authorities for details of which authorities must be sent a copy of your application.

Guidance Notes, Fees and Notices

Failed Application Redress

If an application for a club premises certificate is refused the club can appeal.

Appeals are made to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR  within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Permission Holder Redress

The club may also appeal against any conditions attached to a club premises certificate, a decision to reject a variation application, a decision to exclude an activity, or a decision to withdraw the certificate

Appeals are made to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision..

Consumer Complaint

A responsible authority, club member or any other person who is affected by the club may apply to the Licensing Authority to review a club premises certificate. Following receipt of a review application a hearing will be held by the Licensing Authority. See reviewing a premises licence/club premises certificate for further details.


The council operates a complaints procedure.  To view the complaints procedure or to make a complaint relating to the service you have received please go to comments, complaints and feedback.

Other Redress

A responsible authority or any other person who is affected by the club may make representations in relation to an application for a club premises certificate, or for the variation or review of a club premises certificate.

A responsible authority or other person who has made relevant representations may appeal against the granting of a club premises certificate, or against any condition, variation or licensable activity decisions.

Appeals must be made to Westminster Magistrates' Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision.

The chief police officer for the police area where the premises are located may make representations against any application for a club premises certificate, or for the variation or review of a club premises certificate.

Trade Associations