Licensing of alcohol and entertainment
Produced in partnership with Jeremy Phillips
Licensing of alcohol and entertainment

The following Local Government practice note Produced in partnership with Jeremy Phillips provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Licensing of alcohol and entertainment
  • Application of the Act
  • Licensing authorities
  • Guidance and statements of policy
  • Responsible authorities
  • Licensable activities
  • Retail sales of alcohol
  • Alcohol supply by clubs
  • Regulated entertainment
  • Exemptions for regulated entertainment
  • More...

This Practice Note summarises the application, purpose, content and structure of the Licensing Act 2003 (LA 2003) as it applies to England and Wales.

Application of the Act

LA 2003 makes it an offence for any person to carry on or attempt to carry on a licensable activity on or from any premises otherwise than in accordance with an authorisation. The maximum penalty on summary conviction is a term of imprisonment of up to six months, or an unlimited fine, or both. See Practice Notes: Summary of offences under the Licensing Act 2003 and Children and alcohol offences under the Licensing Act 2003.

Licensing authorities

Responsibility for the grant and review of premises licences lies with the relevant licensing authority, which is the local authority for the relevant area. Each licensing authority must establish a licensing committee consisting of at least ten, but not more than fifteen, members of the authority. Certain functions may be delegated. For more information, refer to the relevant paragraphs in the Revised guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2013 entitled ‘Administration, exercise and delegation of functions (pg 116)’, which includes a table setting out a recommended scheme of delegation to officers. See also Practice Note: Licensing committees.

Guidance and statements of policy

When exercising their powers under LA 2003, licensing authorities must have regard to:

  1. the Revised guidance issued under section 182

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