Club Premises Certificate

The Licensing Act 2003 recognises that volunteer and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public.

Clubs which meet specified criteria set out in the 2003 Act are known as 'qualifying clubs' and the authority under which they may supply alcohol and conduct other 'qualifying club activities' from their premises is a club premises certificate issued by the licensing authority.

The grant of a club premises certificate means that a club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor. There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.

What is a qualifying club?

To be classified as a qualifying club in relation to a qualifying club activity, a number of general conditions must be met. These are:

  • that under the rules of the club, persons may not be admitted to membership, or be admitted, as candidates for membership, to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination for membership and their admission
  • that under the rules of the club, those becoming members without prior nomination or application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their becoming members and their admission
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith as a club
  • that the club has at least 25 members
  • that alcohol is not supplied to members on the premises otherwise than by or on behalf of the club

To qualify as a club authorised to supply alcohol to its members and guests, additional conditions must be met. These are:

  • the purchase and supply of alcohol by and for the club is managed by a committee made up of elected members of the club all aged over 18 years
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to receive any commission, percentage or similar payment at the expense of the club with reference to purchases of alcohol by the club
  • no arrangements may be made for any person to derive directly or indirectly any monetary benefit from the supply of alcohol to members or guests apart from to benefit the club as a whole or any indirect benefit a person derives by reason of the supply contributing to a general gain for the club as a whole

A club premises certificate may authorise the conduct of any of the qualifying club activities, namely:

  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to, or to the order of, members of the club 
  • the sale by retail of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to a guest of a member of the club for consumption on the premises where the sale takes place
  • the provision of regulated entertainment (where that provision is by or on behalf of a club for members of the club or members of the club and their guests)

However, you will have to specify in the club operating schedule the qualifying club activities to which the application relates.

Copies of the application form, including any relevant accompanying documents, must be sent to the responsible authorities on the same day as the application is given to the relevant licensing authority. Applications must also be advertised to allow any other person to make representations.

How much will a club premises certificate cost?

The fee for applying for a club premises certificate is between £100 and £635, based on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises, with an annual charge of between £70 and £350. See the table below.

Main Fee Levels - dependant on Non domestic rateable values.

Band A B C D E
Non domestic rateable value None to £4,300 £4,301 to £33,000 £33,001 to £87,000 £87,001 to £125,000 £125,001 plus
New application and variation £100 £190 £315 £450 £635
Annual Charge £70 £180 £295 £320 £350

How long does a club premises certificate last?

Unless requested otherwise in the application form, a club premises certificate has no time limit and will continue to have effect unless it is withdrawn by the licensing authority following an application for the review of the certificate, if the club ceases to be a qualifying club or it lapses on surrender by the club.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 has amended the Licensing Act 2003 to require the licensing authority to suspend a premises licence or club premises certificate if the annual fee is not paid when it is due.

To apply and pay online, please use the appropriate link below:

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Last updated: 18 May 2022 09:21:07