Club Premises Certificates and Premises Licences are both issued under the Licensing Act 2003 but there are many differences that clubs need to be aware of, with each permission having both advantages and disadvantages.

A Premises Licence can be granted to permit one or more licensable activities to be carried out at a premises.  A Club Premises Certificate is a certificate granted in respect of a premises occupied by and habitually used for the purposes of a club, and that club must comply with a set of parameters specified within the Act. We have previously covered premises licences so let’s look at Club Premises Certificates;

A Club Premises Certificate can authorise:

  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club
  • the sale by retail of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to a guest of a member of the club for consumption on the premises where the sale takes place; and/or
  • the provision of regulated entertainment where that provision is by or on behalf of a club for members of the club or members of the club and their guests.

So, what are the parameters than enable a qualifying club?  A club must follow these rules: –

  • A person may not be admitted to membership or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges, without an interval of at least two days between their nomination or application for membership and their admission to the premises.
  • The club must be established and conducted in good faith
  • The club must have at least 25 members
  • Alcohol cannot be supplied to members on the premises other than by or on behalf of the club
  • The purchase of alcohol for the club and the supply of alcohol by the club, are managed by a committee who are members of the club, are 18 years old or above, and are elected by members of the club
  • No individual can receive any commission, percentage, or similar payment at the club’s expense on or concerning purchase of alcohol by the club or derive a financial benefit from the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the Club to guests or members, except where the benefit goes back into the club coffers.

On the flip side a Club Premises Certificate does have a number of advantages over a Premises Licence which include:

  • No personal licence holder is required to authorise sales of alcohol, nor is a Designated Premises Supervisor is required to be nominated
  • Authorities have more limited powers of entry because the premises are considered private and not open to the public
  • The premises are not subject to many powers of closure (eg certain closures on the order of the Magistrates’ Court where a premises licensed premises may be)
  • Higher stakes on permitted on gaming machines

The key point though is that a Club Premises Certificate does not authorise sales of alcohol by retail or the provision of regulated entertainment to the general public. So, if you are planning to hire out your club premises to non-members or perhaps a special interest group, you should ensure that the correct permissions are in place and that your club premises certificate is not put at risk. In most cases such hiring’s can be covered by a Temporary Event Notice, but if it’s a regular eventuality consider applying for a full premises licence.

Remember: a premises covered by a Club Premises Certificate who hired out their venue to a non-member for a function could be guilty of an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 which is punishable by an unlimited fine and / or up to six months in prison.

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