Club premises certificate

Clubs are organisations where members have joined together for particular social, sporting or political purposes and then combined to buy alcohol in bulk as members of the organisation to supply in the club. They commonly include Labour, Conservative and Liberal Clubs, the Royal British Legion, other ex-services clubs, working men's clubs, miners' welfare institutions, social and sports clubs.

A club premises certificate authorises the qualifying club to carry out qualifying club activities such as the supply of alcohol and provision of regulated entertainment.

Conditions and criteria

Only qualifying clubs may hold club premises certificates. In order to be a qualifying club, certain conditions must be satisfied:

  • a person may not be admitted to membership or be admitted as a candidate for membership, to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days between their nomination or application for membership and their membership being granted
  • club rules must state that those becoming members without nomination or application cannot access 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 by or on behalf of the club

Qualifying clubs should not be confused with proprietary clubs, which are clubs run commercially by individuals, partnerships or businesses for profit. These require a premises licence and are not qualifying clubs.

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

  • that the purchase of alcohol for the club and the supply of alcohol by the club is managed by members of the 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 as a whole 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 purchase of alcohol for the club and the supply of alcohol 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.

Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme

Since April 2017 it has been an offence for retailers/trade buyers to buy alcohol for onward sale or supply from an unapproved UK wholesaler.

A look up service is available on GOV.UK to check that the wholesaler is approved by HMRC, details of which are referred to in the attached flyer from HM Revenue & Customs

The Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme flyer (PDF)


Click here for a full list of licence fees

How to apply

You can apply online.

Apply for a new club premises certificate

Tell us about a minor change to your existing premises or club

Tell us about a change to your existing details or club rules

Tell us about a change to your existing club premises

Renew your existing club premises certificate

Please contact us if you require a paper copy of the form.

The time taken depends on each individual application, however the time period normally ranges from a minimum of one month up to three months, however it could take longer.


When an application is submitted, a 28 day statutory consultation period will follow. This allows time for responsible authorities and any individual, body or business who feels that the application could undermine one or more of the licensing objectives to make a representation.

Tacit consent

Tacit authorisation applies to club premises applications only where no objections are received. This means if you have not heard from licensing services after 2 months from submission of the application, you can assume the certificate is granted as applied for.If objections are received from responsible authorities and/or any other persons, then you must wait for the council to determine the application before any activities can take place. Please note that licensing services will always contact.

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