Alcohol licences

This guide is for any person or organisation that needs a licence for the sale of alcohol.

Types of alcohol licence

There are different types of alcohol licence available under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005:

  • premises licence — allows for the sale of alcohol on the premises, either on-sales and/off-sales
  • personal licence — authorises a person aged 18 or over to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol
  • occasional licence – required if you want to sell alcohol from unlicensed premises in Scotland
  • extended hours licence – for licensed premises who want to open to sell alcohol beyond the core hours

To view all current licence applications, visit the Tell Me Scotland website

Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

The Act sets out 5 licensing objectives which represent the principles on which the licensing system is based. The 5 objectives are:

  • preventing crime and disorder
  • securing public safety
  • preventing public nuisance
  • protecting and improving public health
  • protecting children from harm

Premises licence

A premises licence is needed to sell alcohol on the premises, on-sales and off-sales. Premises include pubs, hotels and restaurants. The licence fee will depend, primarily, on the rateable value of the premises.

You must be 18 or older to apply. Your application must include a description of the premises, an operating plan, and a layout plan.

The Council encourages all applicants to submit a written statement along with their application. This should set out how you intend to conform to and promote the licensing objectives, paying particular attention to the locality where the premises are situated and the activities to be carried out.

Conditions:

  • each premise must have a designated premises manager who must hold a personal licence
  • an individual may not, at any one time, be the premises manager of more than one licensed premises
  • if the designated premises manager ceases employment or otherwise leaves the premises, the premises licence holder has 7 days in which to notify the Licensing Board and 6 weeks to nominate a new premises manager
  • failure to nominate will result in the premises no longer being able to sell alcohol

Premises license fees

You should note that the fees payable in terms of applications relating to liquor licensing are fees to cover the administrative costs in processing the application. They are non-refundable in the event that an application is not granted.

 

Variation to a premises licence

You must apply to vary your premises licence if you want to make any changes. Under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, there can be either major or minor variations to a licence.

Major variations include:

  • any of the conditions of the licence
  • any information contained in the operating plan
  • the layout plan
  • any other information contained or referred to in the licence.

The cost of a major variation is £200.

Minor variations include:

  • any variation of the layout plan that does not make it inconsistent with the operating plan
  • restricting children and young people's access to the premises
  • a change to the designated premises manager

The cost of a minor variation is £20. The cost of varying the designated premises manager is £31.

Major or minor variation application form

Minor variation – change of designated premises manager application

 

Personal licence

A personal licence authorises a person aged 18 or over to supervise or authorise the sale of alcohol. Every personal licence applicant must be trained to a national standard and produce a training certificate with their application form.

You should apply for a personal licence in the local authority area where you are ordinarily resident. The personal licence has a fixed duration of 10 years.

The fee for a personal licence is £50.

When you submit your application, include 2 passport-style photographs and a copy of a passed training certificate.

Download a personal licence application form

Personal licence holder qualification

The sale of alcohol on a licensed premises must be authorised by a personal licence holder. The premises manager must possess a personal licence. Other members of staff may also have personal licence qualifications so they can authorise sales in the absence of the premises manager.

Personal licence holders must undergo refresher training to ensure their licence remains valid. They must produce evidence that they have undergone this training, within 5 years of achieving their licence – with a three-month grace period.

Personal licence renewal period

You can submit your renewal application up to 12 months before the expiry of your licence. The Council recommend you submit your renewal application at least 3 months before your licence expires. This will leave suffecient time  for the required consultation to take place with Police Scotland and give the Licensing Board time to determine your application. If the Board has not been able to determine your application before it expires, the licence will continue for a period of six months from the date of expiry

Failure to lodge a renewal application will mean that your licence will cease to be valid.

The fee for a renewal application is £50.

As part of the renewal process, you’ll need to complete refresher training and provide an updated training certificate with your application.

There’s more information on refresher training on the Scottish Government website.

Occasional Licences

An occasional licence lets allows the sale of alcohol within unlicensed premises at an event or special occasion. Selling alcohol without a  licence is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £20,000, or a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.

You can apply for an occasional licence if

  • you are from a voluntary organisation
  • you hold a premises licence
  • you hold a personal licence to sell alcohol

The cost of an occasional licence is £10.

At least 28 days’ notice is needed to process an application, though applicants are encouraged to wubmit their application as early as possible to help with administrative process.

Download an occasional licence application form

Voluntary organisations

There are limits on occasional licences that can be applied for by voluntary organisations and clubs. In any period of 12 months there can be:

  • no more than 4 occasional licences within a duration of 4 days or more
  • no more than 12 occasional licences with a duration of fewer than 4 days
  • the 12-month total cannot exceed 56 days.

A voluntary organisation can only have an occasional licence for an event taking place in connection with its activities.

An occasional licence is only available where the premises is not already licensed for the sale of alcohol – except that a club may apply for a licence for its own premises.

Notification of the application will be published on the Tell Me Scotland website for a period of 7 days. Within 21 days of receipt of the application:

  • Police Scotland can give notice recommending refusal
  • the licensing standards officer can submit a report with their comments on the application

Any person may object to an occasional licence application within 7 days starting on the day when details are published on the website.

If the licensing board receives notice of an objection or representation, they will send a copy to the applicant and have regard to the objection or representation when considering the application at a hearing.

The licensing board will grant the application if it does not receive any objection or representation.

If any of the following happen, an application may take longer than 28 days to be approved:

  • there are objections or representations
  • there are any comments from the police or licensing standards officer
  • the applicant wants to change the Standard Conditions

Extended Hours

You’ll need an extended hours licence if you want to sell alcohol during hours that are outside your current core hours. You must satisfy the licensing board that your application relates to either:

  • a special event or occasion to be catered for on the premises
  • a special event of local or national significance

The fee for an extended hours application is £10.

Download an extended hours application form

Extended hours have effect for the period granted by the licence. Extended hours are for ad hoc occasions – events or occasions that take place regularly on your premises should be incorporated within your operating plan.

The licensing board will consider the nature of any special event or occasion on its own merits. The onus is on the applicant to show the board why the event needs extended hours. The board will not normally grant extended hours for the type of entertainment listed within the operating plan for the premises.

The board will look favourably on applications for extended hours for these times:

  • Easter weekend
  • May and spring Bank Holidays – first and last Sunday in May
  • Fresher’s and re-fresher’s week – 1 week in September and 1 week in January respectively
  • Halloween – or the weekend closest to Halloween
  • patron saints' days – if the premises can demonstrate that they are hosting an event or entertainment in connection with that date

This is not an exhaustive list.

Application fees

General

licence type

fee

Lottery or raffle – application

£40

Lottery or raffle – renewal

£20

(Alcohol) Licensing Scotland Act 2005 fee table

licence type

fee

extended hours

£10

occasional licence

£10

personal licence

£50

duplicate personal licence

£20

change of details for personal licence

£20

duplicate premises licence

£50

temporary premises licence

£200

Premises licence fees

Fees will depend on the category in which the premises fall. Categories are generally defined by the rateable value of the premises, except for category 1. Premises fall within category 1 if:

  • they are not entered in the valuation roll or have a nil valuation
  • their main function is to provide a visitor attraction and the sale of alcohol is for consumption off the premises and the board considers the sale of alcohol is incidental to the other activities carried on
  • they are used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a club, as defined in the Licensing (Clubs) (Scotland) Regulations 2007
  • their main function is to provide accommodation, they are not open to the public other than for the provision of accommodation and any alcohol sold on the premises is to be consumed on the premises by guests being accommodated there

category

rateable value

application fee

annual fee

1

N/A

£200

£180

2

£1 - £11,500

£800

£220

3

£11,501 - £35,000

£1,100

£280

4

£35,001 - £70,000

£1,300

£500

5

£70,001 - £140,000

£1,700

£700

6

Over £140,001

£2,000

£

Licensing board

Board members

The board is made up of 8 elected members:

  • Councillor Douglas Dodds (Chair)
  • Councillor Alasdair Tollemache (Vice-Chair)
  • Councillor Ewan Dillon
  • Councillor Elaine Watterson
  • Councillor Danny Gibson

The board holds 6 meetings a year and, all meetings are open to members of the public.

Attending a licensing board meeting

All meetings are held in public, and anyone can attend. You can only speak about a particular application being considered if you have made a timeous written submission about the application, to the board.

Decisions will be made by the board at each meeting. Occasionally, board members may visit a premises before making a decision. If you are the applicant, the licensing team will formally notify you of the decision within 7 days.

Licensing board documents

Annual Functions Report 2022

Annual Financial Report 2022

Licensing Board standing orders

List of delegated functions

Licensing standards officer (LSO)

The LSO has a wide ranging remit, but the 2005 Act sets out three general functions:

  • to provide interested persons with information and guidance concerning the operation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
  • to supervise compliance by the holders of premises and occasional licences
  • to provide mediation to avoid or resolve disputes and disagreements between premises and occasional licence holders and any other persons

The LSO has a statutory right to enter and inspect licensed premises for the purpose of determining whether the activities on the premises are being carried out in accordance with the 2005 Act.

Licensing policy statement

There are two main purposes of this statement of policy:

  • to set out how the board will deal with its business in relation to applications for licences, hearings, licence reviews and complaints
  • to set the standards it expects licensed premises and licensees to meet

These two purposes provide a framework within which the board, licensed premises and other licensees are required to operate.

The Policy also includes a statement of the extent to which the board considers there to be overprovision of licensed premises or overprovision of licensed premises of a particular description, in any locality within the area of the board.

This statement has effect from 1 November 2018 and will be reviewed before 1 November 2023.

Read the statement of licencing policy

Objections and representations

Any member of the public can object or make representations about a proposed or an existing alcohol licence.

If you want to object or make representations you must lodge a written notice of objection or representation with the clerk of the licensing board. The last date for doing this is contained in the notice of application. It is up to the person making the objection or representation to make sure the board has received their representation or objection. the licensing team recommend doing so in one of thefollowing ways:

  • deliver by hand within the time specified
  • posted by registered or recorded or special delivery post
  • emailed and an acknowledgement of the email is kept

Download an objections and representations form

Volutary organisations

There are limits on occasional licences that can be applied for by voluntary organisations and clubs. In any period of 12 months there can be:

  • no more than 4 occasional licences within a duration of 4 days or more
  • no more than 12 occasional licences with a duration of fewer than 4 days
  • the combined total of days operating under an occasional licence cannot exceed 56 days within 12-months.

A voluntary organisation can only have an occasional licence for an event taking place in connection with its activities.

An occasional licence is only available where the premises is not already licensed for the sale of alcohol — except that a club may apply for a licence for its own premises.

Notification of the application will be published on the Tell Me Scotland website for a period of 7 days. Within 21 days of receipt of the application:

  • Police Scotland can give notice with its recommendation; and
  • the Council’s Licensing Standards Officer can submit a report with their comments on the application.

Any person may object to an occasional licence application within 7 days starting on the day when details are published on the Tell Me Scotland website.

If the Licensing Board receives an objection or representation, they will send a copy to the applicant and have regard to the objection or representation when considering the application at a hearing.

An application will be granted by officers under delegated powers if there are no objections or representations.

If any of the following happen, an application may take longer than 28 days to be approved:

  • there are objections or representations
  • there are any comments from Police or the Council’s Licensing Standards Officer
  • the applicant wants to change the Standard Conditions

Applicants are therefore encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible to facilitate the statutory consultation process.

Equality and diversity

The licensing board has published the following reports confirming its commitment to meeting its equality responsibilities.

Licensing board mainstreaming report 2021

Licensing board equalities outcomes 2021 to 2025

Licensing board equalities outcomes progress report 2021

Contact

To get in touch with the licensing office please email liquorlicensing@stirling.gov.uk or phone 01786 233612.

Extended Hours

An extended hours licence is required if you want to sell alcohol during hours that are outside the core hours contained in your premises licence. You must satisfy the licensing board that your application relates to either:

  • A special event or occasion to be catered for on the premises
  • A special event of local or national significance

The fee for an extended hours application is £10.

Download an extended hours application form

Extended hours have effect for the period granted by the licence. Extended hours are for ad hoc occasions — events or occasions that take place regularly on your premises should be incorporated within your operating plan.

The Licensing Board will consider the nature of any special event or occasion on its own merits. The onus is on the applicant to show the Board why the event needs extended hours. The Board will not normally grant extended hours for the type of entertainment listed within the operating plan for the premises.

The Board will look favourably on applications for extended hours for these times:-

  • Easter weekend;
  • May and spring Bank Holidays — first and last Sunday in May;
  • Freshers’ and re-freshers’ week — 1 week in September and 1 week in January respectively;
  • Halloween — or the weekend closest to Halloween; and
  • Patron saints' days — if the premises can demonstrate that they are hosting an event or entertainment in connection with that date.

You should note that this is not an exhaustive list. For further advice please contact the council’s Licensing Team on liquorlicensing@stirling.gov.uk

Application fees

Application Fees Licensing Scotland Act 2005 fee table

Licence type

Fee

Extended hours

£10

Occasional licence

£10

Personal licence

£50

Duplicate personal licence

£20

Change of details for personal licence

£20

Duplicate premises licence

£50

Temporary premises licence

£200

Premises licence fees

Fees will depend on the category in which the premises fall. Categories are generally defined by the rateable value of the premises, except for category 1. Premises fall within category 1 if:

  • the premises are not entered in the valuation roll or have a nil valuation
  • the main function of the premises is to provide a visitor attraction and the sale of alcohol is for consumption off the premises and the Board considers the sale of alcohol is incidental to the other activities carried on
  • the premises are used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a club, as defined in the Licensing (Clubs) (Scotland) Regulations 2007
  • The main function of the premises is to provide accommodation, they are not open to the public other than for the provision of accommodation and any alcohol sold on the premises is to be consumed on the premises by guests being accommodated there

Category

Rateable value

Application fee

Annual fee

1

N/A

£200

£180

2

£1 - £11,500

£800

£220

3

£11,501 - £35,000

£1,100

£280

4

£35,001 - £70,000

£1,300

£500

5

£70,001 - £140,000

£1,700

£700

6

Over £140,001

£2,000

£900

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