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Alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment

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Licensing Act 2003 (alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshments)

The Licensing Act 2003  established a single integrated system for licensing premises that are used for alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment. Under this legislation, each local authority is known as the ‘licensing authority’ and is responsible for licensing alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment in its geographical area.

Licensable activities

The licensable activities covered by the Act are:

  • The sale of alcohol by retail
  • The supply of alcohol in club premises
  • The provision of regulated entertainment
  • The provision of late night refreshment

Licensing objectives

The Act sets out four licensing objectives that are fundamental to the whole licensing system. These are:

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

All four licensing objectives have equal importance under the Act.

The City of London licensing authority must carry out its licensing functions, including all actions and decisions, with a view to promoting these objectives.

All applicants must show how they can meet the objectives when applying for a premises licence or club premises certificate and operators of licensed premises are expected to take steps to promote these objectives.

Any representation or objection to a licence application must relate to the likely effect of the grant of the licence on the promotion of at least one of the licensing objectives.

The Licensing Act 2003 statutory guidance provides information for licensing authorities, operators of licensed premises and the general public. It is not a legal document but all licensing authorities must have regard to the guidance when carrying out their licensing function.

If you would like advice or assistance with an application or licence please contact the licensing team by phone on 020 7332 3406 or send an email to licensing@cityoflondon.gov.uk​​​​​

The service is committed to the principles of the Regulators' Compliance Code, a statutory code for all regulators. We have a Policy Statement on Enforcement​ (200KB) approved by the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee. This sets out our approach to enforcement work in the City.


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