Legal advice: Time to renew your licence

Related tags London solicitors joelson License Court David clifton

By David Clifton of's legal team of experts from London solicitors Joelson WilsonYou will no doubt be aware by now that the...

By David Clifton of's legal team of experts from London solicitors Joelson Wilson

You will no doubt be aware by now that the government has confirmed that all liquor licences must be renewed at the tri-annual Brewster Sessions due to take place in February next year.

While the government did consider requests from trade organisations for the renewals not to be held, the DCMS has indicated an intention to continue with the renewals on the basis that:

  • Existing licences will have to operate for a period of at least one year until the new licensing system becomes fully operational
  • Abolishing renewals would deny residents the right to object to the renewal of existing liquor licences
  • Renewal allows premises ownership details to be confirmed and details of those persons running premises to be updated, where transfers have been missed
  • Renewal identifies premises that have ceased trading, and
  • Not proceeding with renewal would make the transitional period an even more difficult process, as existing documents will often be out of date.

It is very important that before Christmas you contact your court to ask what you need to do to renew your licence. A fee of £30 will be payable and you may have to fill out a court form in certain areas. I would advise you to get renewal out of the way now, before your busy Christmas period starts.

Remember that the courts are not legally required to notify you about the expiry of your licence.

If you forget to apply for renewal of your licence, then when it expires in April next year, you will have to stop selling alcohol (although there are some desperate measures that can be taken but you should not rely on these).

Once you have been issued with your renewed licence, remember to keep the original in a safe place. You will need to submit this licence to the licensing authority when you apply for a premises licence under the new licensing system.

  • NOTE​ - a transfer granted at the Brewster Sessions or in the last three months of a licensing period operates as a renewal, as well as transferring the licence to the new holder. If you are in any doubt about this, you would be well advised to exercise caution and to apply for renewal of your licence.

Related topics Licensing law

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