The late-night levy: What could it mean for your pub?

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Levy Local government

Policing the late-night economy: Levy could have a significant impact on your pub
Policing the late-night economy: Levy could have a significant impact on your pub
The Government recently published its draft regulations on the late-night levy. Set to come into force alongside early morning restriction orders (EMROs) in October, the levy will have implications for thousands of licensees, should their local authorities decide to implement it. Adam Pescod provides a step-by-step guide to the regulatios.

What is the late-night levy?

The late-night levy is a new discretionary power, which will be available to local authorities from June 2013 at the earliest. It will allow councils to collect an annual fee from all licensed premises that are authorised to sell alcohol between the hours of midnight and 6am.
Why has the levy been introduced?

The Government wants to assist local councils and police in dealing with the challenge posed by late-night drinking in towns and cities across the UK. The money collected through the levy is intended to cover the costs of policing the night-time economy.
Who will the money go to?

Seventy per cent of the money from the levy will go to local police, the other 30% to the local council.
How much will premises have to pay?

Anywhere between £299 and £4,440. It depends on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises. This is based on its fair maintainable trade (FMT), which is the level of annual turnover a reasonably efficient operator would achieve at the premises.
Does paying the levy mean I don’t have to pay my annual licence fee?

No, it will be payable on top of your annual licence fee.
Is it just the on-trade that will have to pay the levy?

No, off-trade outlets that are licensed to sell alcohol between midnight and 6am will also have to pay the levy. This includes late-night supermarkets, off-licences and any other shop with a late-night licence.
Will I definitely have to pay the levy?

No, it is up to your local council to decide whether it wants to introduce the levy when the power becomes available to them.

If my council introduces the levy, will I definitely have to pay it if I am licensed to serve alcohol from midnight?

No, the council can decide what period of time between midnight and 6am it wants to charge for. This could be the whole six hours from midnight to 6am, or a smaller timeframe, for example, 2am to 5am.
I have a licence to sell alcohol until 2am, but I normally stop serving before midnight. Will I still have to pay the levy?

Yes, the levy applies to all premises that are authorised to sell alcohol after midnight.
If I vary my premises licence to reduce my serving hours to end at midnight before the levy is introduced, will I have to pay it?

No, you will not.

How much will it cost me to reduce my business hours so that I am not affected by the levy?

It will cost you nothing. Premises will be able to apply for a free minor variation if they wish to reduce their business hours, so they are not affected by the levy.
If I vary my licence to reduce my serving hours halfway through a year in which the levy is being charged, will I only have to pay for half of the year?

No, you will be charged for the whole year.
I have a condition on my licence that allows me to stay open until 1am on Christmas Eve. Will I have to pay for the levy for a whole year?

Yes, you will.
How could I get around this particular problem?

You could vary your hours accordingly and then apply for a temporary event notice (TEN) for Christmas Eve. The levy will not apply to TENs.
Will any premises that are licensed to sell alcohol after midnight be exempt from paying the late-night levy?

Yes. Hotels (residents only), theatres, cinemas, bingo halls, community premises and sports clubs, village pubs and premises in business improvement districts will be exempt from the levy.
How, exactly, does the Government define a village pub?

The only pub in a village with a population of fewer than 3,000 people.
I have a condition on my licence that allows me to stay open until 1am on New Year’s Eve. Will I have to pay for the levy for a
whole year?

No, New Year’s Eve is exempt from the late-night levy.
Are there any other reductions available to premises that sell alcohol after midnight?

Yes. A licensing authority will have discretion to offer a discount up to a maximum of 30% for premises that are part of, or members of, best-practice schemes such as Pubwatch or Best Bar None, subject to specific criteria. Discretionary reductions may also be applied to premises receiving small-business rate relief with a rateable value of below £12,000.

Where can I find out more about the late-night levy?
On the Home Office website, from your local council, and on the PMA's legal pages.

Related topics Training

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more