Liquor Licensing

This page is intended to answer frequently asked questions about liquor licensing.  If you would like more information about the process for applying, please click on the type of licence you wish to apply for.  The granting of licences is dealt with by the Justices of the Peace ('Licensing Justices'), and the Clerk to the Summary Court, and any appeals against their decisions goes to the Senior Magistrate.

What do I need a licence for?

If you are selling alcohol you need a licence.  The type of licence you will need will depend on a number of factors such as;

  • If you are setting up a business which involves the sale of alcohol, and the nature of the business
  • If you are a holding a 'one-off' event
  • If you are a club with a premises
  • If you wish under 18's to be present at an event/in your premises
What types of Licences are there and what can I do with each?

There are 5 main types of Licences;

1) Justices' On-Licence;

2) Justices' Off-Licence;

3) Part V

4) Club Registration Certificate

5) Occasional Licence

Justices' On-Licence - this licence enables the licensee (the person who holds the licence) to sell alcohol to people in a specific premises to consume on the premises.  It is also permissible to sell alcohol for consumption off of the premises as well.  A person who holds this licence is only able to sell alcohol during the 'permitted hours'.  Persons aged under 18 years of age are not permitted to enter and remain on premises where there is a valid Justices' On-Licence in force unless there is also a Children's Certificate in force.

Justices Off-Licence - this licence enables the licensee (the person who holds the licence) to sell alcohol to people in a specific premese to consume off of the premises.  It is not permissible for a person to consume the alochol in the licenced premises.  A person who holds this licence is only able to sell alcohol during the 'permitted hours'.

Part V - there are 3 types of Part V licence:

Restuarant: this licence enables the licensee (the person who holds the licence) to sell alcohol with a meal in a premises used for the purposes of habitually providing lunch and/or an evening meal for people who attend the premises for that purpose.  A person who holds this licence is only able to sell alcohol during the 'permitted hours'.

Resident:this licence enables the licensee (the person who holds the licence) to sell alcohol to a person who is staying in their premises, which are run as bed and breakfast and at least one other meal.  A person who holds this licence is only able to sell alcohol during the 'permitted hours'.

Restuarant & Residential: This licence combines the above two licences together.

Club Registration Certificate: This licence enables a 'club' to operate a licenced premises for their own purposes.  Club Registration Certificates are not subject to the permitted hours.  Please see the Licensing Ordinance for more information about what a 'club' is for the purposes of licensing.  Persons under the age of 18 years are not permitted to enter and remain in premises in Stanley where there is a Cluib Registration Certificate in force.  For premises situated in Camp, persons aged under 18 years may enter and remain providing there is a camp exemption certificate in force.

Occasional Licence: This licence allows an individual, for a short time (for a maximum of 5 days) to sell alochol from a premises which is normally unlicensed for the purposes of a special event. 

All licences last from the 1st July to the 30th June (except the occasional licences).  This means if you apply and are granted a licence in September, the expiry will be 30th June. Please click here for further information about annual renewals.  

What happens to my application once I've filed it with the court?

Every application has its own requirements and processes. However, where the court receives your application in good time it will endeavour to inform you of the hearing date as soon as practicable. You are advised to make any application as soon as the need arises in order to ensure the matter can be dealt with in good time. All correspondence from the court will be in writing and applicants are advised to check their post, or email if you have given an email contact, regularly once their application is filed.

Will there be a hearing and do I have to attend?

The Licensing Justices' may delegate the decision of granting a licence to the Clerk to the Summary Court.  In these circumstances, if no objecitons to your application are received, the Clerk will proceed with your application without a hearing and you will be notified of the outcome. 

If there is a hearing you will be notified of the time and date and you must attend.  Failure to attend will result in your application being dismissed.

What happens at a hearing?

The purpose of a hearing is for the Court to assess the application in accordance the Licensing Ordinance. You may be asked questions which relate to your character, the organisation of an event or business aims or anything else relating to your application. You will be asked to answer these questions on oath. This means that you will either have to swear on your chosen Holy Book or affirm that the evidence you are giving is true.

Licensing Hearings are open to the public.

What if I want to appeal the decision of the Licensing Justices'?

With certain applications it may be possible for you to appeal the decision of the Licensing Justices. If you are considering appealing a decision, please contact the court staff who will outline the process for you.

How and when do I pay fees?

Some fees are payable upon application, (when you file the application with the court) and some are payable upon grant (so you would only pay if the application is successful) and some are payable upon both. If you are unsure please do not hesitate to ask a member of the court staff. Fees may be paid by cash or cheque at the court or directly at the bank. Details of the appropriate account and reference can be provided by court staff. We cannot accept payment by debit or credit card.

What happens if I am convicted of an offence?

Under the Licensing Ordinance there are a number of specific offences that relate to licence holders. There are also a number of situations where the court may consider ordering the forfeiture of a licence or disqualifying the offender from holding a licence for a set period. It is important that you make yourself aware of these to ensure you do not commit any offences as a licence holder.

At each renewal and new application for a licence, the court must be satisfied that the applicant is a "fit and proper person to hold a licence." In considering matters, it will have due regard to any convictions for offences either under the Ordinance or for criminal matters. If you are convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for more than 12 months, you will be disqualified from holding a justices licence.