Alcohol and entertainment licensing

Transferring a licence

If you have purchased a business which already has a licence, you must apply to transfer that licence to yourself or your company in order to benefit from that licence. You may also need to nominate a new DPS if that licence permits the sale of alcohol.

The new owner must complete an application form.

The existing licence holder(s) must complete a consent form. There are very limited circumstances where an application can be accepted without the consent of the existing licence holder. Where no consent is to be provided, you must prove to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that you have made all reasonable attempts to secure this consent.


Applications must be submitted with the consent of the original licence holder (or explanation as to why consent can't be provided), the original Premises Licence (or explanation as to why the original licence can't be returned - there is space on the form for this purpose), proof of right to work, and the relevant fee.

As of April 6th 2017, all applications must be submitted with proof that the applicant (or each individual applicant if the application is submitted by a partnership or group of individuals) is eligible to reside and work in the UK. The application form includes notes as to what documents are acceptable. You do not need to supply your original identification documents (such as passports, or driving licences), and only a copy can be submitted.

If the document copied is a passport, a copy of the following pages must be provided:-

  • any page containing the holder’s personal details including nationality;
  • any page containing the holder’s photograph;
  • any page containing the holder’s signature;
  • any page containing the date of expiry; and
  • any page containing information indicating the holder has permission to enter or remain in the UK and is permitted to work.

If the document is not a passport, a copy of the whole document must be provided.

You can apply online to transfer a licence. Applications not submitted online must be copied to the Police in all circumstances, and also to the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team (but only where the licence that is being transferred permits alcohol sales or the provision of late night refreshment), and served on them at the same time as when the application is submitted to the licensing authority.

Failure to submit the correct documentation with your application, to serve copies of your application to the Police and Immigration Enforcement (where the application is not submitted online), will result in a delay in processing your application while you validate your application, and your application may be rejected outright.


Only the Police and Immigration Enforcement may comment on an application to transfer a licence. The consultation period is 14 days.

It is possible for a transfer application to take immediate effect, meaning that the applicant is to be treated as the new licence holder as soon as the application is served and is validated. You can also nominate a date for when the application is to take affect.

Your application will be granted if no objections were made during the consultation period.

If any objections are received, you will be notified of these objections. A hearing will be arranged within to consider any objections.


The fee to transfer a licence is £23.


Unsuccessful applicants have a right to appeal to the magistrates' court if the application is refused. Objectors also have a right to appeal against a decision to grant an application. Any appeals must be submitted to the court in writing within 21 days of being notified of the decision.

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