It is even harder when inspectors from local authorities enter and inform you that you are missing information or doing something you should not.
To help ease the burden slightly, we have collated ten top tips to help navigate the licensing world to avoid enforcement action.
1. Ensure you have your Premises Licence Summary displayed
This is a very simple but often overlooked requirement. The premises licence summary (or a certified copy) must be prominently displayed at the premises (behind the bar is a good place).
2. Ensure the copy of the Premises you hold is the most up to date
Things can change quickly in the hospitality trade, ensuring the copy of the Premises Licence is the most up to date is a great starting point for ensuring compliance.
3. The designated premises supervisor (DPS)
It may seem obvious but check whether the DPS named on your Premises Licence is still the DPS.
Too often a DPS leaves, and no-one notices until a licensing officer visits and at that point an offence has already been committed and enforcement action may be taken.
4. DPS address
Often a DPS will move address and forget they need to update both the Premises Licence and their own personal licence. You wouldn’t want this minor change to cause major upset upon an inspection.
The Premises Licence Holder must display a notice at the premises specifying the role held at the premises by the person nominated to keep the Premises Licence (or certified copy) under their control. Often referred to as a nomination notice.
6. Smoke Free Signs
The premises must have a minimum of one no smoking sign displayed in the premises. The sign must be legible, so it is advisable to ensure the sign is big enough to be read easily by all.
If the premises is required to have CCTV then the site must let people know they are in an area in where CCTV surveillance is being carried out.
The signs should:
- Be visible and readable by members of the public.
- Contains details of the organisation operating the system.
- Be an appropriate size according to the circumstances.
8. Layout Plans
Check the plans which are attached to the premises licence accurately reflect the layout. If not, you may be required to submit a variation to the layout plans. It is better to be proactive about this than it being noticed via an inspection visit.
9. Know your business
Some licensable activities are easier to identify than others. Hopefully, all premises will know the sale of alcohol is a licensable activity and when this can begin and end at their site. Others however are less easy to remember, such as films and regulated entertainment for examples. Take some time to think about what is required in your business and whether this requires permission.
10. Premises Licence Conditions
It is best to regularly check the conditions on your premises licence to ensure you are complying. Sometimes seemingly innocuous ideas breach a condition which can lead to significant enforcement action.
As always, the above is not an exhaustive list. Ensuring you are fully informed and complying with the above removes the risks of surprise enforcement action being taken against the premises.