What is a prospective licensee?
The concept of prospective licensees was introduced in February 1998. A prospective licensee has to be approved by the licensing justices as being a fit and proper person to hold such a position and is in the sidelines ready to take over the licence at the relevant premises. In order to do this the prospective licensee has to give notice to both the licensing justices and the police in writing and then he automatically becomes the licensee.
This provision is only used rarely because the prospective licensee has to be in a position where he can immediately take over the licence and does not have any duties that could affect this.
Additionally, the procedure is fairly lengthy and similar to an application for a new licence. The application has to be sent to the court at least 21 days before the transfer sessions and must be served upon the relevant authorities. It must also be displayed on the premises for seven consecutive days before the hearing and be advertised in a local newspaper at least 14 days before the hearing.