Licensing Law: Pricing Structure & Policy
New Premises Licence
Our specialist licensing team is able to handle and advise on all aspects of applying for a premises licence for new businesses and existing businesses. We offer expert tailored advice and have strong relationships with the various local authorities throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond.
Under the Licensing Act 2003, all premises (defined in the Act as a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure or any place or part of any premises) must have a licence to carry out a licensable activity on a permanent basis.
Licensable activities are:
- The sale and supply of alcohol
- The sale and supply of hot food and drink after 11pm
- The provision of live and recorded music
- The provision of plays
- The provision of films
- The provision of dance performances
- Indoor sports such as wrestling and boxing
If you carry out any licensable activities at your premises without a licence, you can be fined, sent to prison for up to six months, or both. It is therefore vital that you have the correct licence in place.
Due to the increasing number of licensed premises and associated anti-social behaviour problems that often come with them, Local Authorities are making it increasingly difficult for new premises licences to be obtained unless they will adhere to the Local Authorities strict licensing policies.
Instructing an expert solicitor from the start will ensure that such conditions are met and that your application is granted straight away, saving your business costs and time.
If you wish to make an application for a new licence, then the relevant forms must be completed and submitted to the Local Authority. You must provide plans of the premises and there is also a fee payable.
All applications must demonstrate that the Licensing Objectives will be met. These objectives are set out in the Licensing Act 2003 and are as follows:
- The prevention of crime and disorder
- The prevention of public nuisance
- Public safety
- The protection of children from harm
As part of the application, you must prepare a detailed ‘Operating Schedule’ demonstrating how the above objectives will be met. This schedule should propose conditions that will show how you will promote the above licensing objectives, for example, how will you control noise and antisocial behaviour.
At Lupton Fawcett, we will prepare a detailed ‘Operating Schedule’ setting out the measures that your business will take in order to promote the licensing objectives.
If generic conditions are included in your application, there is the risk that these conditions will not actually be applicable to how your business will operate. Once licensing conditions are imposed you must adhere to them or you risk being in breach of your licence.
Instructing an expert solicitor will ensure that any conditions imposed are specifically tailored to your business.
Before the application is submitted, our team will liaise with other relevant authorities, such as the Police, Fire Service and Environment Agency, in order to establish if there are any specific conditions that they expect to be implemented or any potential problems that may be encountered.
This early contact ensures that the application promotes all of the Licensing Objectives and adheres to the Local Authorities Licensing Policies. Our aim is to ensure that all applications are granted the first time and prevent any objections from being made, saving your business time and money.
Once submitted, the premises licence application must be properly advertised, and our team can assist in ensuring that provisions of the Licensing Act are adhered to.
Advertising the application
Once the application is submitted a notice, adhering to strict conditions set out in the Act must be displayed on the premises for 28 days, starting the day after the application. The wording, colour of paper and location of the notice must all adhere to the Act and our team can assist in drafting the notice to ensure that it is correct.
As well as placing an application notice on your premises, you must advertise the notice in a local newspaper circulating in the vicinity of the premises. You must do this at least once during the 10 working days after the application is submitted. Our team can liaise with local newspapers to ensure that the advertisement is made correctly and within the time limit.
Objections & hearings
If any objections are made, then our aim is to resolve these without the application process being delayed.
However, if there are objections that can’t be resolved then a hearing may be necessary and our team can represent you at sub-committee hearings or Appeals to the Magistrates Court.
Applications for a new premises licence must be applied for and granted before your business can carry out any licensable activities.
Once the application has been submitted a notice must be displayed on the premises for 28 days. If no one objects to the application then it will automatically be granted after 28 days. If objections are made then the application will be decided at a subcommittee hearing.
The length of time required to draft an application depends on the complexity of the matter and volume of documents to consider.
We aim to meet with clients and draft the applications expeditiously (within 2-3 weeks where possible) but you must ensure that you leave sufficient time for the application to be considered before your business is due to open and carry out licensable activities.
It is advised that you get in touch with expert solicitors as soon as you decide to go ahead with your business plan to avoid any delay in the opening of the premises.
At Lupton Fawcett, we recognise that each client and each business is unique. We tailor each application to meet our clients’ needs and we do not operate on the basis that ‘one application fits all’.
As each application is unique, our costs may vary depending on the complexity of the application.
It can be difficult to determine what will affect the complexity of the application, but factors can include:
- The size of the premises
- The nature of the business
- Whether the premises is located within a residential area
- Whether the premises is located in a city centre or ‘Cumulative Impact Zone’
Our Licensing team charge for the number of hours of work completed, based on an hourly rate.
Our teams’ hourly rates are as follows;
Meghan Waldron – Associate Solicitor £250 + VAT per hour
Jeremy Scott – Partner £325 + VAT per hour
Niamh Lewis – Trainee Solicitor £150+ VAT per hour
Estimate of costs
Simple application 8-15 hours
Complex application 10 -20 hours
What is included?
Unless otherwise stated, our fees will include:
- Taking your instructions
- Obtaining and considering all relevant documentation from you or the Local Authority
- Providing advice on how the Licensing Objectives can be promoted
- Completing the application forms
- Drafting the Operating Schedule
- Liaising with the Council and relevant authorities
- Providing advice on the advertising requirements
- Submitting your application
Unless otherwise stated, our fees will not include:
- Obtaining plans to accompany the application
- Assisting with other applications such as change of Designated Premises Supervisor
- Providing advice on any representations or objections that are made by the relevant authorities or interested parties
- Varying the licence once it has been granted
- Assisting with and attending any subcommittee or appeal hearings
Additional fees not included in our costs
In addition to the steps outlined above, there will be fees payable directly to the Local Authority that must be paid directly.
A fee is payable when applying for a premises licence and the amount payable is dependent on the national non-domestic rateable value (NDDR) band of the premises.
This fee is payable directly to the Local Authority and your application will not be processed until this payment is made.
Full details of the rateable value of your premises can be found using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/introduction-to-business-rates
Our team can liaise with local newspapers to obtain quotes for advertising costs but the fee itself will be payable directly to the newspaper and may depend on the newspaper that you intend to use.
Typical advertising costs can vary between £300 – £1,000 + VAT at the prevailing rate.
Variation of Premises Licence
If you wish to change any aspect of your licence or club certificate once it has been granted, then you will need to apply to your Local Authority for either a full or minor variation.
If you want to make minor changes to your licence, then a minor variation (link to below) application can be made.
However, if you want to make substantial changes to the licence, such as increasing the size of the premises, then a full variation (link to below) application must be made.
Identifying whether the changes can be dealt with by a minor or full variation application can be very difficult but is very important. If you apply for a minor variation and it is rejected, then you will have to reapply for a full variation and may incur the additional fees.
Our experienced solicitors can provide advice from the start to identify the route that you need to take, saving you costs and time.
Follow the link below for details of the team who may work on your case.