Alcohol Licensing For Your Café

Alcohol Licensing For Your Café

alcohol licensing cafesThere are different types of alcohol licensing for a business.  Some café owners like to offer hot or cold alcoholic beverages to customers such as Irish coffee, Baileys coffee or liqueur.  Commercial Law Solicitors contact the Local Licensing Authority on your behalf, apply for licensing and deal with any legal aspects relating to alcohol licensing for your business.  If you are planning to sell alcohol in your café, you need permission from your local licensing authority.

Two Types of Alcohol Licensing You Will Need

The government’s website provides guidance on alcohol licensing. You can check the breakdown on the types of alcohol licensing required for a number of businesses.  If you are running a café, these will likely be the licences you’ll need:

  • premises licence – licence for your café
  • personal licence – licence you need as the person intending to sell alcohol

For your café, you will likely need a personal licence and a premises licence.  A personal licence is a document that ensures the public and authorities that you sell or supply alcohol in a professional fashion.  A premises licence allows you to sell alcohol in a particular place or area, a designated venue, in your case, your café.

Responsible Authorities For Alcohol Licensing

Your commercial solicitor will help you understand what licensing you need for your business.  You’ll also be advised if any other ‘responsible authorities’ need to be contacted.  These include:

  • police
  • local fire and rescue
  • primary care trust (PCT) or local health board (LHB)
  • the relevant licensing authority
  • local enforcement agency for the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • environmental health authority
  • planning authority
  • body responsible for the protection of children from harm
  • local trading standards
  • any other licensing authority in whose area part of the premises is situated
  • Home Office Immigration Enforcement (on behalf of the Secretary of State)

When To Apply

Of course you can open a café without serving any alcohol but if you do change your mind, you can apply for licensing.  Regardless of the amount served, you need a licence to serve alcohol.  Please do ask your commercial law solicitor for advice before you serve alcohol and not during!  Also, remember that if you are not licensed, your customers cannot consume alcohol in your premises.  Whether you provided your customers with the alcohol or not, it is your responsibility to get a licence.  Please contact us for advice on serving alcohol in your café.  SG

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