Many clubs operate a bar and supply alcohol, food and entertainment to its members and their guests. Whereas most businesses wishing to provide services like these would require a Premises Licence, ‘Qualifying’ clubs would instead hold a Club Premises Certificate.
If the club in question is a commercial organisation run by individuals, partnerships or businesses for profit, then it would not qualify as a club under the Licensing Act. Organisations such as these would need a Premises Licence.
In some circumstances it might be in the organisation’s interests to have both a Club Premises Certificate AND a Premises Licence at the same premises – this might be the case if a club wanted to hire our parts of the premises to provide entertainment to the general public.
In order to qualify as a club under the Licensing Act, the organisation must have at least 25 members and meet a number of other conditions. Depending on the type of organisation you have, some of these qualifying conditions can be quite onerous and you will need detailed advice on which type of licence is right for you.
There can be some advantages to holding a Club Premises Certificate. These include:
- Unlike a Premises Licence, there is no need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence.
- Club Premises Certificates authorise the provision of late-night refreshment to members of the club without requiring additional authorisation.
- There are more limited rights of entry for the police and other officers because the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.
- Holders of Club Premises Certificates are exempt from any local orders made for the closure of licensed premises in areas when disorder is happening or expected.
A Club Premises Certificate will permit a club to sell and supply alcohol to its members and their guests and can also permit the supply to associate members and their guests. There are rules and restrictions on how an individual becomes a member of the club.
Qualifying clubs have to be run ‘in good faith’. If a Licensing Authority decides that a club is not being operated in good faith, then it can give notice that it intends to withdraw the Club Premises Certificate or bring a Review.
How we can help your Licensing Issues
You will need expert advice before applying for a Club Premises Licence. Some of the questions that will need to be resolved are:
- Does your organisation qualify as a club under the Licensing Act 2003?
- If not, what steps do you need to take in order for it to qualify?
- What will the club rules need to say on Membership, or Associate Membership?
- Do you need a Club Premises Certificate or a Premises Licence or both?
- How can you be sure that the Licensing Authority will consider the club is being run in good faith?
At TV Edwards we have all the expertise to help you navigate these questions and many more. We can help you decide which type of licence is the right one for your organisation and make sure that you are on the right side of the law. We can help you apply for a new licence, vary an existing licence or challenge a Local authorities’ efforts to give notice or review the certificate you have. We can advise you on how the club should be run and how its rules might be drafted so as to be compatible with the Licensing Act 2003. If your Club Premises Certificate has been revoked, then we can help you appeal that decision.
Recent Licensing cases
We were instructed by and organisation whose Club Premises Certificate had been revoked by the local authority. Unfortunately, there had been a long running dispute between members of the organisation. The local authority took the view that the consequences of this dispute meant that the club was no longer being run in good faith, and its Club Premises Certificate was revoked. We were able to assist the organisation in pursuing an appeal against this decision as well as helping them to apply for a new Premises Licence which allowed them to continue trading.
What our client’s say about our Licensing Services:
“TV Edwards have always been our go to Solicitors for licensing. Firstly back in 1997 with Moro and most recently with Morito Hackney Road and Morito in Hackney Wick. Excellent communication and personal customer service, always positive results with minimal stress and good value. We wouldn’t recommend anyone else!”Sam Clark – Moro
Our Licensing fees vary depending on the complexity of each case. Every case is different. Some applications will be very straightforward whist others might be extremely complex. Factors will include whether the licence sought is for a premises in a cumulative impact zone, whether the application deviates from local authority policies, whether local objections are anticipated and how novel or unusual the application is.
For an application for new Club Premises Certificate, the fees will be very similar to those charged for a Premises Licence. Further information on our Licensing fees can be found here.