To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from your local authority. In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003.
Clubs must be qualifying clubs. A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy. These are:
- a person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
- that club rules state that those becoming member without nomination or application cannot have 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 on behalf or by the club
Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:
- that alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of 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 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 alcohol is purchased for and supplied 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.
Application Evaluation Process
A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes.
Applications should be made to the local licensing authority, which will be the local authority where the premises are situated.
Applications should be submitted with a plan of the premises which must be in a specific format, a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.
A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format and which includes information on:
- the activities of the club
- the times the activities are to take place
- other opening times
- if alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both
- the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
- any other information that is required
If there any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the licensing section. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.
If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the licensing section of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.
A club may apply to a local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate should accompany the application.
The licensing section may inspect the premises before an application is considered.
Fees may be payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate.