Since the introduction of the 2003 Licensing Act, anyone wishing to sell alcohol or provide public entertainment has to adhere to a dual system of licensing – personal and premises licenses. To encourage a more European, cafe-culture approach to drinking, the new law does not set specific opening hours but licences have more responsibility.

You are now required to apply for a Premises and Personal Licence for the provision of public entertainment or the sale of alcohol. For the latter you are required to sit the new National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) examination.

All licences are policed by the local authorities and applications are subject to the views of the police, residents and environmental health officers, amongst others. It is therefore important to receive strong, independent advice. We have considerable experience in dealing with the police and local authorities to get the best result for you.

We can help you with licencing matters including liquor, public entertainment and late night licences. Services include:

  • Applications for new licences
  • Variation or Transfer of licences
  • Personal licences
  • Designated Premises Supervisor
  • Reviews of Premises licences
  • Licensing Appeals
  • Temporary Event Notices
  • Outdoor Events and Festivals
  • Premises licences

Set out below are details of a range of potential fees for an application for a new premises licence. These are estimates only. Please contact us so that we can provide a bespoke quote that fits your circumstances:

  • Simple application: £750 – £1,000 plus VAT* (based on 3-4 hours at an hourly Partner rate of £250 plus VAT);
  • Medium complexity: £1,250 – £1,750 plus VAT (based on 5-7 hours at an hourly Partner rate of £250 plus VAT); or
  • High complexity: £1,750 – £3,000 plus VAT (based on 7-12 hours at an hourly Partner rate of £250 plus VAT).

A number of factors affect the complexity of a case including:

  • Type of licensable activity covered by the application;
  • Location of premises (such as whether in a cumulative impact policy area); and
  • The type and size of premises/event.

An application to vary an existing premises licence should be less complex and therefore our fees would usually be in the same range as a simple first application.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee. We will pay the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Expected disbursements include:

  • Application fee (payable to licensing authority). The fee varies depending on rateable value of premises for new licences. Fixed at £23 for applications to vary an existing licence;
  • Advertising fee £250 – £400; and
  • Enquiry agent fees to display public notices (if required) £75.00.

These fees vary depending on the individual premises and where it is located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges given above. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.

The estimate of our fee includes the following work:

  • Taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application;
  • Advising you as the type of plans you are required to submit with your application;
  • Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans;
  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority;
  • Preparing copies of the premises licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities;
  • Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper;
  • Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003;
  • Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself; and
  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

The estimate fee does not include:

  • obtaining suitable plans;
  • attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting;
  • dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties; or
  • advising on varying the licence; or
  • attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.

How long will my application take?

Matters usually take 6-8 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly (and includes the 28 day consultation period, where relevant). If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.

* VAT refers to the VAT rate in force from time to time – this rate is currently 20%


David Park


We work as a single united team with market leading firms around the world and give our clients the highest quality advice possible.