The Licensing Act 2003 recognised the importance of the licence document and gave the authorities powers to inspect it. In order to avoid potential enforcement problems from the licensing authority or the police, here is a list of tips and guidance concerning the display and production of your premises licence.
- The holder of a premises licence must ensure that the (complete) licence or a certified copy of it be kept at the premises in the custody or control of:
(a) The holder of the licence, or
(b) A person who works at the premises and whom the holder of the licence has nominated in writing.
- The holder of the premises licence must secure that:
(a) The summary of the licence or a certified copy of that summary, and
(b) A notice specifying the position held at the premises by any person nominated, are prominently displayed at the premises.
- 3. A police officer or authorised person (usually the licensing officer) may require the person having custody or control of the (complete) licence or certified copy to produce it for inspection, (the authorised person being required to produce evidence of his authorisation if requested to do so) and a failure to produce the licence or certified copy, without reasonable excuse, is a summary offence punishable by a fine not exceeding £500.
- Failure to comply, without reasonable excuse, with the requirement to display the summary or keep the licence at the premises is a summary offence punishable by a fine not exceeding £500.
- Therefore, if the original licence is not kept at your premises, ensure you a have a certified copy of the complete licence on site, as well as the summary. Make sure that all pages of the original licence summary or a certified copy and the nomination notice are in a clearly visible location, and not hidden away from view.
- While it is desirable and good practice that the summary and notice are displayed in the same place, there is no requirement under the Act that this be done.
- If you are the premises licence holder give careful consideration to the person you nominate to hold the licence on your behalf. In normal circumstances, this is likely to be the designated premises supervisor or manager of the premises, but whoever you choose to nominate, a trustworthy and diligent employee is vital.
- Review your nomination notice on a regular basis to ensure that the identity of the person named in the notice is correct.
- Make sure that you and your staff know where your original premises licence (or certified copy) is located. Keep the original in a safe place (maybe with your solicitor).
Remember that your premises licence is a valuable document. Non-compliance with the notice requirements is an easy way for the authorities to pull you up.