Club premises certificate

To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from your local authority.

In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003.

Eligibility criteria

Clubs must be qualifying clubs. A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy. These are:

  • a person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
  • that club rules state that those becoming member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith
  • that the club has at least 25 members
  • that alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf or by the club

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:

  • that alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members
  • that no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club
  • that there are no arrangements for anyone to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club or to any person indirectly from the supply giving a gain from running the club

Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners' Welfare Act 1952. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

Application forms

Use the links below for the following online application forms.

You can download a PDF forms using the following links.

Frequently asked questions

Voluntary and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public.

Club premises certificates enable club premises that fulfil specific membership criteria to supply alcohol and other club activities for their members and guests, on a non-profit basis.

The criteria are similar to members' club certificates previously issued under the Licensing Act 1964, but not all existing members' clubs qualify for the new club premises certificates. Club certificates do not have an expiry date.

It is the people within the organisation that usually own the property in which they meet and any fixtures and fittings, such as alcohol. The bar is run by a bar committee of at least three members, although it is permissible for them to employ a bar man to dispense the alcohol.

Since members already 'own' the alcohol they cannot buy it but may pass money to replace the stock they have taken. Alcohol can only be supplied to members. In a registered club no one person derives financial benefit from the running of the club.

The criteria for qualifying clubs are:

  • there must be an interval of at least two days between nomination for membership and granting of membership or admission
  • there must be at least 25 members
  • the club must be established and conducted in good faith
  • the club must be non-profit making
  • alcohol is not supplied or intended to be supplied to members on the premises other than by, or on behalf of, the club

Qualifying clubs get special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements.

A club is entitled to certain benefits, which include the authority to supply alcohol to its members and sell it to guests without the need for any member or employee to hold a personal licence, and the absence of a requirement to specify a designated premises supervisor.

There are also more limited rights of entry for the police and other authorised persons, as the premises are considered private and not generally open to the public.

If a club does not meet the conditions to be classified as a qualifying club, it must apply for a premises licence. It is for the club to determine whether the activities it wishes to undertake would be better served by a premises licence.

Application evaluation process

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes.

Applications should be made to the local licensing authority, which will the local authority where the premises are situated.

Applications should be submitted with a plan of the premises which must be in a specific format, a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format and which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club
  • the times the activities are to take place
  • other opening times
  • if alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other information that is required

If there any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the local licensing authority of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.

The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

Fees may be payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes, in most cases. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

The target completion period from the date the application is received by the Council is:

50 working days in the case of applications for club premises certificates and variations to club premises certificates;

21 working days in the case of notifications of a change of details or club rules;

7 working days in the case of annual payments for a club premises certificate.

In the case of minor variations, tacit consent will not apply. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact us. The target for dealing with these applications is 15 working days from the date an application is received by the Council.

Failed application redress

In the first instance please contact:

Licensing section, Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
Telephone: 01773 570222
Email: licensing@ambervalley.gov.uk

A failed applicant will receive notice of the refusal of an application for a certificate or variation of a certificate from the local licensing authority.

If an application is rejected, the applicant may appeal the decision.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Certificate holder redress

In the first instance, please contact:

In the first instance please contact:

Licensing section, Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT
Telephone: 01773 570222
Email: licensing@ambervalley.gov.uk

If a local licensing authority refuses an application for a variation the licence holder may appeal the decision. A licence holder can appeal against a decision to put conditions on a certificate or to exclude any club activity. Appeals may also be made against the variation of any condition.

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.

A club may appeal against the withdrawing of a certificate.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

A club member may request a review of the certificate. The local licensing authority will give reasons for their response to the application in a notice.

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Other redress

Any interested party may make representations to the local licensing authority before the certificate is granted or before amendments to a certificate are granted.

If representations are made a hearing will be held to consider the application and the representations. Notices will be made by the local licensing authority detailing the reasons for any outcome. Interested parties who made representations will receive notice of a failed application.

An interested party is:

  • a person living near the premises or a body representing such a person
  • a person involved in a business near the premises or a body representing such a person

An interested party may request a review of the club premises certificate. The local licensing authority will give reasons for their response to the application in a notice.

An interested party may appeal if they argue that a certificate should not have been granted or that different or additional conditions or limitations on activities should have been made. They may also appeal against any variation of a condition.

Appeals against the decision of a review can be made.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841604 or email licensing@ambervalley.gov.uk