Apply for a premises licence

What you need to know when you or someone else applies to licence a premises for alcohol, music, dancing or sports, and how to comment on them

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.

Concerns about a licence application

If you have seen a notice of application that you are concerned about, you can view the council's public licensing register for more details. You may also 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.

Read our new premises licence application privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.

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 4 licensing objectives.

The licensing objectives are:

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

View our licensing policy to help you make your application.

The Statement of Licensing Policy 2016 has been revised (January 2021).

The changes include:

  • expand the Special Stress Area (SSA) to cover Preston Road and Beaconsfield Road (up to Stanford Avenue)
  • include Marina into “Other areas” of the Matrix to reflect the increased number of residential properties
  • to amend the “Café” category of the Matrix by reducing the terminal time to 10pm for the sale of alcohol within the special stress area and “other areas”
  • to amend notes of the Matrix for shopping parades and alcohol in shared workspaces
  • guidance on Shadow Licences and Alcohol Delivery

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

Apply for a club premises certificate

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 licence.

Please contact the licensing team if you have any questions. Phone 01273 294 429, or send an email to

Read our new premises licence application privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.

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.