When it comes to planning a big event, there are lots of things to think about, from the location and food to the decorations and guest list.
However, there’s one important thing that you need to consider, and that’s whether you need an alcohol license for a private event.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the laws around alcohol, it can get pretty confusing for those of us not in the know, especially where licenses are concerned.
Simply put, by law, businesses and individuals who are selling or supplying alcohol must have a license to do so, which can come in various forms, which is designed to ensure that all alcohol is supplied responsibly and to minimize any alcohol-related issues.
To make things a little clearer, we’re going to take a look at whether you need an alcohol license for your private event.
Different type of licenses
There are a number of different alcohol licenses required to sell or supply alcohol and which one you need will depend on what your event will entail.
A premises license authorizes any permanent premises, whether it’s a bar, restaurant, or club, to sell or supply alcohol on its property.
A personal license authorizes that individual to sell or supply alcohol, who will commonly be the Designated Premises Supervisor. In turn, this supervisor can authorize those without a personal license to sell or supply alcohol on the premises.
A TEN, or temporary events notice, is a license authorizing a temporary premises to sell or serve alcohol during a short-term event.
This guide by the UK Government offers more detailed guidance on the different licenses available.
Do I need one?
If you’re having your event in permanent premises, such as a bar or restaurant, then the establishment that you use will have their own premises license in place and you won’t need to take any action.
However, if you’re holding your event in a non-licensed premises, such as a community hall or a temporary marquee, then you may need a TEN, or temporary events notice.
This will largely depend on whether you want to sell alcohol to your guests, or whether you want to give your guests alcohol for free.
If you’re giving alcohol away on a free bar, then you won’t be required to obtain a TEN, but if you intend to charge guests, then you’ll need to apply for a TEN license.
Similarly, you’ll only be able to obtain a TEN if you’re 18 or over, have fewer than 500 people present (including staff) and if the event lasts less than 7 days.
For more restrictions on TENs, check out this page.
How do I get one?
In order to obtain your license, you first need to contact your local council, which you can find by entering your postcode on the UK government website.
You can apply for a TEN online or in writing to your council, after which they will make a decision based on the views of the relevant authorities.
You’ll need to apply at least 10 working days before the event, so it’s best to do it as soon as you can, and you’ll have to pay a fee of £21.
You’re also required to send a copy of the TEN to the police 10 working days before the event if you apply for a license in writing.
Alternatively, there are some companies such as Hospitality Training Solutions who can take care of applying for a license for you and all of the legwork involved./fusion_text]