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Club Premise Certificates

Anyone wanting to use a members club or a similar type of club to sell alcohol, have regulated entertainment or sell hot food or drink after 11pm needs to have a club premises certificate unless they have a temporary event notice.

What is a Club Premises Certificate?

A Club Premises Certificate allows any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes to be used for licensable activities. In Members Clubs, alcohol is not sold but supplied. This is because all the members are seen to own the alcohol stock. A Club Premises Certificate will last indefinitely provided the qualifying club criteria can be satisfied or unless an application states otherwise.

An annual fee needs to be paid to keep the certificate in force. This fee is due on the date the licence was first granted. The certificate can be suspended if the annual fee is not paid on time.

What are the qualifying club criteria?

To be able to have a Club Premises Certificate a club:

  • must have more than 25 members
  • must be established and run in good faith
  • have at least two days elapse between the nomination or application for membership, and allowing that person admission to the premises
  • the rules should state that anyone becoming a member without applying first or without being nominated, must wait at least two days before having membership privileges
  • alcohol is supplied to members and not supplied for profit

If your club wishes to supply alcohol, the Licensing Act 2003 also requires the following conditions to be met:

  • that only members over 18 and elected by other club members, can purchase and supply alcohol on behalf of the club.
  • that the purchaser of the alcohol does not obtain money or any other benefit for doing so (except for their normal salary if position is a paid one).

As members of the public are not allowed access to Members Clubs, such clubs do not need to have a designated premises supervisor (DPS) or a personal licence holder at or on the premises.

The rules regarding club premises certificates are in the  Licensing Act 2003 (opens in a new window) and  The Licensing Act 2003 (Premises licences and club premises certificates) Regulations (opens in a new window).

Who can apply for a Club Premises Certificate?

Those that meet the qualifying club criteria above.

How do I apply for a Club Premises Certificate?

Complete the  application form (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window) which needs to be accompanied by:

You will also need to advertise the fact that you are applying for a Club Premises Certificate. The Licensing Act requires applications to be advertised (pdf, 129kb) (opens in a new window) in a certain way and these requirements can be downloaded, as can an  example notice (pdf, 305kb) (opens in a new window).

Before submitting an application you may want to look at the relevant Licensing Authorities statement of Licensing Policy which it uses as a guide when making a decision along with the Section 182 Licensing Act Guidance (opens in a new window). Each Authorities Statement of Licensing Policy is available to download:

Completed applications need to be sent to the Licensing Authority in which the 'premises' are located with copies sent to the relevant Responsible Authorities.

The contact details for each Licensing Authority and the relevant Responsible Authorities can be downloaded:

Any applications that do not meet all of the above requirements may be rejected and you may have to start the whole process again.

Can I apply online?

Apply for a Club Premises Certificate in North Dorset

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Applications can be emailed to the relevant licensing authority with payment being made by card over the telephone, or by sending a cheque. Please note that the application is not complete and the 28 day representation period does not start until payment is received. Alternatively applications can be submitted via (opens in a new window). The Licensing Authority will notify the responsible authorities of applications received electronically.

How long will my application take to process?

There is a 28 day period during which the responsible authorities and any other person can make representations about an application. If no representations are received within this 28 day period, the application is granted with the relevant mandatory conditions (pdf, 26kb) (opens in a new window) and any conditions consistent with the applicants operating schedule, attached.

If representations are received the application process may take considerably longer as it may be necessary to arrange a Licensing Sub-Committee to hear the application. Applicants are therefore advised to apply for a premises licence well in advance of any proposed event.

How do I change my Club Premises Certificate?

If the club changes its name, or the registered address of the club changes, the relevant Licensing Authority should be notified. The club will also need to pay £10.50, so that a new Club Premises Certificate can be produced. The relevant licensing authority should also be notified of any change to the club rules.

To change any part of a Club Premises Certificate such as the licensable activities, conditions or opening times an application to vary the certificate will need to be submitted. Further information about changing a licence can be found on 'How to change a Premises Licences or Club Premises Certificate'.

I am looking to sell alcohol what else do I need to do?

It is important that you have procedures in place to prevent underage sales of alcohol. Trading Standards offer further advice and information on this subject and on the sale of age restricted products, which is available to download. The advice offered discusses the sale of alcohol, due diligence and reasonable precautions.

Will tacit consent apply?

No.  It is in the public interest that the Licensing Authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the relevant Licensing Authority within 30 days of submitting your application, you can contact the relevant Licensing Authority using the contact details above.

What happens if my application is refused?

You can appeal. Appeals should be made to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of being notified of the Licensing Authority's decision.

Club Premises Certificate Holders can also appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision notice, against any conditions attached to their premises licence, a decision to exclude a licensable activity from the licence and a decision to reject a variation application.

What happens if complaints are received about the club?

Under the Licensing Act 2003, anyone that experiences problems from a club that can be linked to one or more licensing objectives, for example noise disturbances or anti-social behaviour, is able to submit a formal application asking for a licence to be reviewed. More information regarding this can be found on the representations page.

If a review hearing is held and you are unhappy with the decision reached, any party to the review can appeal. Appeals are made to the Magistrates Court and must be lodged within 21 days of the notice of decision.

Trade Associations

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (opens in a new window)

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