The Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act") recognises that volunteer and social clubs give rise to different issues for licensing law than commercially run premises selling direct to the public.
These clubs (such as the Royal British Legion, working men's or cricket or rugby clubs) are generally organisations where members join together for a particular social, sporting or political purpose and then combine to purchase alcohol in bulk for its members.
The clubs carry on activities from premises to which public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit. For these reasons the Act preserves aspects of earlier alcohol licensing law which applied to 'registered members clubs' and affords clubs special treatment outside the normal premises licence arrangements.
What is a qualifying club?
To be classified as a qualifying club in relation to a qualifying club activity, a number of general conditions must be met. These are:
- that under the rules of the club, persons may not be admitted to membership, or be admitted, as candidates for membership, to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination for membership and their admission
- that under the rules of the club, those becoming members without prior nomination or application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their becoming members and their admission
- that the club is established and conducted in good faith as a club
- that the club has at least 25 members
- that alcohol is not supplied to members on the premises otherwise than by or on behalf of the club
To qualify as a club authorised to supply alcohol to its members and guests, additional conditions must be met. These are:
- the purchase and supply of alcohol by and for the club is managed by a committee made up of elected members of the club all aged over 18 years
- no arrangements may be made for any person to receive any commission, percentage or similar payment at the expense of the club with reference to purchases of alcohol by the club
- no arrangements may be made for any person to derive directly or indirectly any monetary benefit from the supply of alcohol to members or guests apart from to benefit the club as a whole or any indirect benefit a person derives by reason of the supply contributing to a general gain for the club as a whole
What activities does a club premises certificate authorise?
A club premises certificate may authorise the conduct of any of the qualifying club activities, namely:
- the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to, or to the order of, members of the club
- the sale by retail of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to a guest of a member of the club for consumption on the premises where the sale takes place
- the provision of regulated entertainment (where that provision is by or on behalf of a club for members of the club or members of the club and their guests). Regulated entertainment includes (subject to exemptions):
- a performance of a play
- an exhibition of a film
- an indoor sporting event
- boxing or wrestling
- a performance of live music
- any playing of recorded music
- a performance of dance
- entertainment facilities for the above
- LA30 application for a club premises certificate [doc, 416KB]
- guidance for new club premises certificates [doc, 187.5KB]
- LA31 club premises certificate declaration [doc, 80KB]
- LA33 club premises certificate site notice [doc, 45.5KB]
- LA34 club premises certificate newspaper notice [doc, 36.5KB]
To make an application you must submit:
- a completed club premises certificate application form
- a plan of the premises in the prescribed form
- declaration of club premises certificate
- the prescribed fee
A club may apply to the licensing authority to vary the premises certificate. Variations could include the changes to operating hours, the layout of the premises, licensable activities or conditions attached to the licence.
How do I apply?
Application forms for variation of club premises certificate are available from Hackney Licensing Services on request or can be downloaded below:
- LA35 application to vary a club premises certificate [doc, 509.5KB]
- LA36 club premises variation newspaper advertisement [doc, 36.5KB]
- LA37 club premises variation site notice [doc, 43.5KB]
Under the Licensing Act 2003, premises licence holder and club premises certificate holders can make minor alteration to their premises licence. Please visit the minor variation page for more information.