- Review your premises licence and consider the need for temporary event notices (TENs) early. Not only are there statutory time limits (regular TENs requiring 10 clear working days’ notice and Late TENs requiring five clear working days’ notice), but we have known the police to object to TENs submitted late in the festive period due to concerns over an excessive number of licensed events. Start planning now and avoid last-minute complications.
- If you plan on extending your opening hours or introducing new forms of entertainment, check whether your plans are covered by your premises licence and not restricted by any conditions. If your existing licence does not permit your intended activities, then you will need a TEN.
- Offering mulled wine, mulled cider or a boozy hot chocolate for takeaway is a popular idea. If you wish to offer something like this then you will need to make sure that you are licensed for off sales. Additionally, if you plan to set up a temporary bar somewhere on your premises you may need to vary your licence layout plans in advance or obtain a TEN for the bar.
- If you plan on hosting a raffle then be aware that there are specific rules governing these. Raffles and lotteries are a form of gambling and require licensing unless they are conducted within the strict parameters of certain “permitted lotteries”. There are different types of permitted lotteries, such as customer lotteries and incidental lotteries, each with its own specific rules concerning proceeds, prizes and how the draw is conducted. The Gambling Commission offers some helpful online guidance on permitted lotteries, but if you are in any doubt then professional advice should be sought.
- If you would like to decorate the frontage of your premises with a Christmas tree or place anything else on the public highway, then it is important to check whether permission is required from the local council. Furniture to be used to sell or serve food or drink may be permitted under a Pavement Licence, however licensees should be aware that other items on the public highway may need other permissions or licences issued by the local council’s highways department, so we advise checking this before investing in an expensive display.
These tips cover the licensing matters that we commonly encounter during this time of year, but we also see new and innovative ideas from our clients each year. With careful planning and attention to detail, licensees can make the most of the holiday season while keeping their business and patrons protected.