What Businesses Need An Alcohol Premises Licence?

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who needs an alcohol premises licence

Any business intending to sell alcohol to the public is required to have an alcohol premises licence. Essentially, if you want to run a business and sell alcohol to the public in any context, whether it’s retail or catering, permanent or pop-up, you’re going to need an alcohol premises licence and Inn Confidence can help you get one. In this post we’re going to take a few minutes to take a look in closer detail at a few of the types of businesses that might apply for such a licence.

Do I need an alcohol premises licence or personal licence?

This is something that we get asked a lot. The truth is, if you’re a business owner, the chances are you need both. Every premises selling alcohol needs an alcohol premises licence. It also needs a licensee – that’s a person within the business who is personally licensed to sell alcohol from a licensed premises, or to have others sell it on their behalf.

So what kind of businesses need an alcohol premises licence?


It’s probably pretty obvious to most people that a pub needs an licence to sell alcohol. That name you see above the door in most pubs is the name of the individual that is personally licensed to sell alcohol from the venue and to employ others to sell it on their behalf – usually the landlord/landlady. In addition to that person having a personal licence, a premises licence is required to cover the business itself. Inn Confidence can help you to obtain both of these types of licence.


To reiterate, any business selling alcohol to the public requires an alcohol premises licence. This definitely includes hotels. Most hotels have their own bar, where guests can buy drinks. Usually these bars allow members of the public to buy alcohol as well, whether or not they are guests at the hotel. It doesn’t matter whether the people buying drinks are guests at the hotel or not, a premises licence is required either way.

Similarly, even if the hotel doesn’t have a bar but does have a mini bar in each room, filled with alcohol that guests can purchase, the hotel still needs a premises licence in order to legally sell those drinks.

Supermarkets and small retailers

From large, multinational supermarkets to small, independent newsagents, if a retail business sells booze it requires an alcohol premises licence.

Even if you’re simply planning to host an event or run a short in-store promotion that involves you serving alcohol to paying customers, you should apply for a licence.

Music festivals

Here’s one that people don’t usually think of. A festival, even if it’s just taking place for one day, requires a premises licence if the organisers intend to sell alcohol. Don’t forget, any alcohol premises licence must also be accompanied by a person holding a personal license to serve alcohol. Both types of licence are required for the legal sale of alcohol, under any circumstances.


If you’re a business owner doing research into your responsibilities and you’ve learned that you need an alcohol premises licence and/or a personal licence, you’re in the right place. We can help you out with both! You can book your personal licence course online now, or call us to discuss your needs. Get in touch today through our contact form or by calling 0800 433 7863.

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