Why You Need Licensing Legal Advice

Alcohol store
Legally reviewed by: Laura Smith In: Regulatory Law

Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) – David Shankbone

In the UK, you require a legal licence to perform many common business practices. Often, understanding which licence you need and its application process can be difficult to understand without intimate regulatory law knowledge. Fortunately, specialist legal advice is available.

Licensing solicitors stay up to date with licensing laws to ensure that you receive reliable legal advice. The experience and knowledge they have can help you apply for a licence or appeal a licensing decision.

How To Obtain A Licence In The UK

To obtain a specific licence in the UK, you need to complete an application and submit it to the relevant licensing board. This application will likely be submitted via a gov.uk website or a Post Office branch. 

These applications require you to submit proof of your eligibility to hold a said licence. These eligibility requirements could include having certain qualifications or training.

The Importance Of Seeking Professional Advice

It’s always best to get legal advice if you are unsure whether you need a licence as there are consequences for not having the correct permit. Failure to secure the required licence can hamper business and personal plans, costing you time and money.

Licensing issues can also lead to broader legal problems and you may face enforcement action such as closure orders or fines if you operate without the relevant paperwork.

The Need For Legal Licensing Advice

Regulations law can be difficult to understand for people without legal training and experience. There are a few different reasons why someone might seek legal advice about licensing. 

Obtaining A Licence

Firstly, you might need support applying for a licence as submitting a licence application requires various details. A solicitor will help you compile this information and complete the application forms to ensure that the licensing authority has everything they need to grant your licence. 

There are a collection of common licences which businesses or individuals might seek legal advice to help them obtain. Here are a few examples:

  • Premises Licences – For any business or other organisation that either sells or supplies alcohol permanently (previously known as Liquor Licences)
  • Personal Licences – For anyone who plans to sell, supply, or authorise the sale or supply of alcohol
  • Club Premises Certificate – For qualifying members’ clubs such as working men’s clubs and football clubs that plan on selling or supplying alcohol
  • Tables & Chairs Licences (on a public highway)
  • Gaming and Gambling Licences
  • Entertainment Licences
  • Festival Licences
  • SIA Licences
  • Firearm Licences

If you’re unsure which licence you require, a licensing and regulatory lawyer can highlight the nuances between the various types. They can also provide the information you need to choose the correct licence. 

Facing Enforcement Action And Appeals 

You also might require legal advice and support to appeal closure orders or licence suspensions. This process is completed in a Magistrate’s or Sheriff’s court so it is best to seek legal advice to determine whether you have a claim, help you execute it and overturn the decision.

If you want to appeal a licensing decision or enforcement action, having experienced legal representation on your side can significantly impact the outcome. When facing enforcement action, specialist solicitors can advise and represent you at meetings and appeals.

Getting Legal Advice

When you decide that you would like legal advice on your case, you’ll need to reach out to a solicitor. Their first job is to understand your situation and plot the best course of action. They determine whether you have a case based on the licensing decision, listen to what you have to say about the issue and then advise you on how best to proceed.

These steps will likely be taken in an initial meeting with you. The solicitor will schedule this meeting to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Advise you on legal fees
  • Agree how you want to proceed

Then they will support you through the process, help you understand the legislation surrounding the licence in question and gather the relevant information required for your case. 

Cartwright King Legal Advice

At Cartwright King, our solicitors are here to advise you on legal issues. We specialise in regulatory law and closure orders and are committed to helping you appeal enforcement action in a Magistrate’s Court. Our experienced solicitors act fast, offering a start-to-finish service and doing everything to secure your right to stay open.

If you need help with closure notices or have other legal concerns, please contact our team and we can find a solution for you.


When do I need a personal licence?

You need a personal licence if you are involved in supplying alcohol or authorising the supply of alcohol from an establishment that holds a premises licence (except Private Members Clubs).

Can one licence cover my business?

It depends on your business, but it’s unlikely that one licence will cover what you need. For example, a casino may need an operating licence from the Gambling Commission, a personal management licence, a personal functional licence and a premises licence from your local authority.

My licence has been revoked, can I appeal?

If your licence is going to be revoked or suspended, you should receive a letter informing you. That letter will also tell you how you can appeal the decision. It’s at this point you should seek advice from a lawyer. 

There are many reasons why your licence could be revoked including, but not limited to:

  • Applying for a licence using fraudulent documents and/or using a fraudulent identity
  • Allowing someone else to use your licence to engage in licensable conduct
  • Not having the qualifications that you claimed to have on your application
  • Getting a conviction, caution, warning, absolute/conditional discharge or admonishment for a relevant offence
  • Not having the right to work in the UK (unless you are a director of a UK-registered company)

Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.