Breaching Your Licence

Breaching your licence can result in an unlimited fine and/or six months in prison


Once you have your Premises Licence, Club Premises Certificate or Temporary Event Notice it can also be an offence to operate outside the licensable activities described. Common examples include:

  • Selling alcohol outside the scheduled hours on the premises licence
  • Breach of any condition stated on the licence
  • Allowing entertainment without the relevant permission
  • Selling hot food later than specified on the licence

Furthermore, there are specific guidelines relating to the presence of the Personal Licence Holder on site. The Secretary of State makes the following recommendations in the National Guidance:

The person(s) authorised to sell alcohol should be clearly identified;

The authorisation should have specified the acts which may be carried out by the person being authorised;

There should be an overt act of authorisation, for example, a specific oral or written statement given to the individual(s) being authorised; and

There should be in place sensible arrangements for monitoring by the Personal Licence Holder of the activity authorised by him or her on a reasonably regular basis.

The Secretary of State strongly recommends that Personal Licence Holders give specific written authorisations to individuals that they are authorised to retail alcohol. A single written authorisation would be sufficient to cover multiple sales over an unlimited period. There's a form of wording you can use for this on our 'Absence of Personal Licence Holder' page.

Whilst this is not guaranteed to satisfy an enforcing authority, it does encompass the points in the Guidance mentioned above.

The offences carry a period of imprisonment of six months or an unlimited fine or both. There is a defence available of due diligence i.e. that reasonable steps had been taken to avoid commission of the offence.

It is also an offence to possess alcohol with the intention to sell it where that sale would be an unauthorised licensable activity. This offence again applies to all types of premises and carries a fine of up to £500 with the defence of due diligence applying as above.