Apply for a premises license

Your business needs a premises licence if you want to

  • sell alcohol (at any time)
  • have entertainment after 11pm
  • sell food after 11pm

Businesses needing a premises licence include:

  • pubs and bars
  • café bars
  • restaurants
  • takeaways (after 11pm)
  • night clubs
  • other clubs
  • theatres

If your new business already has a premises licence then you will need to make a change to premises licences.

If you are a non profit club, the process is the same, but you will need to provide some extra information.

Free licensing course in January 2017 BIIAB Level 1 Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing (ARAR) (PDF 198KB).

Concerns about a licence application

If you have seen a notice of application that you are concerned about then you can look on the council's public licensing register for more details and you may want to make a representation

Applying for a premises licence

To apply for a licence you will need to complete a premises licence application and submit it to the council's licensing team:

You need to include a plan of the premises and the area to be licensed.

You may want to also apply for a designated premises supervisor at the same time.

The fee payable for the application is based on your business rateable value.

Consulting on your application

There has to be a 28 day public consultation period for anyone to make a representation.

You have to:

People and authorities may contact us to make representations about the application. These are statements supporting or opposing the application, and inform the decision we make.

If  we don't receive any representations within the 28 day consultation, we will grant the application.

If we do receive any representations, we will hold a licensing panel hearing to make a decision. A licensing officer will contact you to tell you more.

How we make decisions

When making the application you need to tell us how your business will meet the four licensing objectives.

The licensing objectives are:

  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • protection of children from harm

The council's statement of licensing policy (PDF 1.5MB) has guidance on this.along with guidelines on determining applications within the city. You should consider this when making your application. 

Designated premises supervisor - named personal licence holder

You will need to have a designated premises supervisor in place to authorise the sale of alcohol:

  • They must be a personal licence holder.
  • You will need to make a variation of designated premises supervisor application. Please look at the designated premises supervisor guidance.
  • There is a cost of £23.
  • After submitting the application, it will take immediate effect, but Sussex Police will be consulted and have the right to object within 14 days of application.

Submit a designated supervisor application online

Download a paper designated supervisor application

Non-profit clubs - club premises certificate

If your club:

  • has at least 25 members
  • is established and conducted in good faith as a club
  • has rules and regulations including candidates for membership
  • does not supply alcohol to members on the premises other than on behalf of the club
  • manages the supply of alcohol by a committee
  • doesn't give anyone direct or indirect monetary benefit from supplying alcohol

You follow the same procedure to apply for a licensing (above), but it may change the way we make our decision.

You will also need to send us a copy of the rules of the club.

You may not need a designated premises supervisor with a personal license.

Please contact the licensing team if you have any questions.

Other applications and licences

  • Personal licence to sell alcohol
  • Temporary event notices
  • Gambling licences
  • Sex establishments and sexual entertainment venues

Restaurants, cafes and food establishments

If your business serves food you can find information on health and safety requirements on our food safety pages.