Published: 08 April 2016
Q: I have been investigating a pub premises that I would like to buy, although I believe that the previous company that traded the premises may have been dissolved. If this is correct what will the impact on the premises licence be?
A: If a company becomes insolvent or is dissolved, any licence held under the Licensing Act 2003 will immediately lapse. If there has been less than 28 days since the company was dissolved you could apply to transfer the licence with immediate effect.
However, if longer than 28 days have passed the previous licence cannot be saved unless it is possible to reinstate the previous company, which may not be a straight forward process. It is not uncommon for companies to change their trading names or undergo restructuring so it may be worthwhile checking to see if the Company still exists albeit under a new name.
Your investigations have highlighted that it is always worthwhile checking the licensing position of any new business venture and determine what permissions have been in place and whether or not there have been any previous issues or concerns. Unfortunately, if the previous licence is no longer in effect, before you enter into any leasehold agreement, you should consider whether or not you will be able to obtain a new premises licence permitting your desired operational hours. It may be worthwhile discussing your proposed operation with the local Licensing Authority and Police and to check whether the premises are located within a cumulative impact area.
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