The Art of Law Chester
The art of negotiation

Law for business


Our pricing for licensing applications in relation to businesses

Our range of charges for:

  • applications for a new premises licence under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003; and
  • applications to vary a premises licence under Section 34 of the Licensing Act 2003.

are set out below and are based on current hourly rates:

  • Simple application to vary a premises licence: £650 (exclusive of VAT)
  • Medium complexity application to vary a premises licence: £800 (exclusive of VAT)
  • High complexity application to vary a premises licence or an application for a new premises licence: £1000 (exclusive of VAT).

VAT is currently 20%.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • whether there is a cumulative impact policy in place.
  • the type and size of the premises.
  • whether it is in a residential area;
  • it relates to large scale public events.
  • there are objections to the application.
  • there are unforeseen complexities or where the way in which you ask us to proceed means additional work.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee. The fee levels will depend on the type of application and the rateable value of the property.

We will pay the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Application fee (payable to licensing authority): these will range from £89 (for minor variations) to £1,905 depending on the fee band of the premises. If your premises do not have a rateable value it will fall into the lowest fee band. Also, where the capacity of the venue (i.e. number in attendance at any one time) is over 5000, there will be an additional fee on a sliding scale from 5000 capacity up to 90,000 and over (further details of which can be found on the relevant local authority’s website).
  • Advertising fee: usually £250 to £350 (depending on the newspaper used).
  • Enquiry agent fees to display public notices: varies depending on the agent used
  • Special delivery fee to serve the application (if applicable): varies depending on size and weight of envelope.
  • Printing additional copies of plans if necessary: varies depending on the size and number of copies

These fees will vary depending on the individual premises and where it is located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges we have given above. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.

The work we will undertake

The fees set out above cover all of the work set out below:

  • Taking your instructions;
  • advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application
  • Advising you as the type of plans you are required to submit with your application.
  • Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans.
  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.
  • Preparing copies of the premises licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities.
  • Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.
  • Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
  • Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself.
  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

The fee does not include:

  • obtaining suitable plans
  • attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.
  • dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties
    advising on varying the licence
  • attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.
How long will my application take?

Application for new premises licence

Applications for premises licences will be submitted to the licensing authority in which the premises are located. Copies must be sent to a number of responsible bodies and the application must be advertised in the local press and on the premises for a statutory period of time.

There is a 28 day consultation period for a premises licence application. If objections are during that period, the application will be considered by a licensing sub-committee of the local authority which will decide the matter having heard evidence from all parties.

Application to vary a premises licence

This will depend on the type of variation being applied for:

A full variation will be required if the proposed changes may negatively impact on the licensing objectives. The process is similar to a new premises licence application and will involve a 28 day consultation period and a press advert.

A minor variation application may be made in limited circumstances – the process is simplified but will still require a 10 working day consultation period (no press advert required). If the licensing authority considers that the minor variation may adversely impact on the licensing objectives the application may be refused and there is no right of appeal against that decision. The application must then be resubmitted as a full variation application and further fees and disbursements will be payable.

The time estimates above are given on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.