Premises Licence – Information

All premises selling alcohol by retail must apply for a new premises licence. The application must be made to the appropriate licensing board to where the premises is located and must include an operating plan, a layout plan of the premises, and details of how the 5 licensing objectives will be met. Unlike England and Wales there are no grandfather rights so new applications will be required from all premises involved in the sale of alcohol. The time scale for this transitional period is limited and all applications are expected to be submitted prior to August 2009. Failure to comply will be an offence under the act and premises that are not licensed will not be permitted to sell alcohol. 


What is meant by the term all premises?

This means all licensed premises involved in the retail sale of alcohol, apart from certain members clubs exempt under the Act.


Who are the Licensing Boards

Licensing Boards exist for the geographical area of each council throughout Scotland.
Licensing boards are made up from local authority councilors and consist of between 5 and 10 elected members. They are responsible for over seeing the licensing function in their local area. You can find your local licensing board by clicking here.


What is an Operating Plan?

An operating plan is a written statement of how the premises will operate showing how it will meet the five licensing objectives. The statement will also include the opening times of the premises how alcohol is sold and whether children will be allowed on the premises and such other information about the premises as may be prescribed.


What is a layout Plan of the Premises?

A layout plan is a scale drawing (normally 1:100) of the premises showing the areas where alcohol will be served and consumed on and off the premises; beer gardens and smoking area may also be included. Other items such as CCTV systems, external security lighting, fire exits and fire equipment should also be included.


What about selling food?

A food hygiene certificate will be required for all premises wishing to cater to the general public and will need to be submitted with an application for a premises licence.


What are the 5 Licensing Objectives?

Under the Scottish Licensing Act there are 5 licensing objectives, these are as follows;

  1. Preventing crime and disorder
  2. Securing public safety
  3. Preventing public nuisance
  4. Protecting and improving public health
  5. Protecting children from harm

The main purpose of the new Scottish licensing act 2005 is to promote the five licensing objectives. All licensed premises will be expected to operate their premises in line with these objectives. All new applications for premises licenses will require a written statement or policy (an operating plan) on how these objectives should be met.

Challenge Policy

All premises selling alcohol in Scotland must operate a challenge policy. on the 1st of October 2011 Scotland introduced a “Challenge 25 Policy”. This means all individuals attempting to purchase alcohol or other age restricted products who look under the age of 25 must be challenge to prove their age by producing an acceptable form of identification.