Premises licence

 You need a licence if your premises:

  • sells alcohol
  • serves hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am

You also need a licence if you provide the following types of entertainment:

  • theatrical performance
  • showing a film
  • indoor sporting event
  • boxing or wrestling (indoor or outdoor)
  • live music
  • recorded music
  • dance
  • facilities for making music
  • dancing facilities

You still need a licence even if the activities are for charity.


You don’t need a licence for:

  • educational or promotional films
  • films shown as part of an exhibition in a museum or gallery
  • incidental music (live or recorded)

Read the section 182 guidance for more information on exemptions.


Applicants must:

  • be 18 or over 
  • be entitled to work in the UK
  • not be subject to a condition preventing them from doing work relating to the carrying on of a licensable activity
  • be, or appoint, a designated premises supervisor (DPS) when you apply for a licence


For prices, view our licensing fees and charges.

For new applications, the cost is based on your premises' business rates. An annual fee is also paid for each year you hold the licence.


If you want a new premises licence or to make changes to an existing licence (including transfer of a licence) please apply and pay via our online trusted provider GOV.UK:

Apply or change a premises licence - GOV.UK

Once submitted your application will be validated. We will contact you if it is incomplete.  If your application requires you to display or advertise public notices we will advise you of the relevant date(s).

Register a notification of interest to be notified about any changes made to the licence.

Next steps

Relevant responsible authorities will be notified of your application. They then have 28 days to comment, give advice and make an objection to your application.

If a valid objection is made you will be notified and the application will be heard by our licensing committee.

If there are no valid objections received within the statutory consultation period you may act as though your application is granted.


Please contact us in the first instance:

If an objection is made you may appeal against the decision. Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates Court within 21 days:

Clerk to the Justices
Northamptonshire Magistrates Court
85 to 87 Lady’s Lane

Tel: 01604 497000

Last updated 19 December 2023