Leading solicitors, Poppleston Allen, on premises licenses in the New Year and beyond 

As the dawn of a new year unfolds, businesses in the hospitality industry are presented with an opportune moment for reflection and revitalization. Embarking on due diligence to ensure that all licenses are up to date is not just a legal imperative but a strategic move for operators aiming for a thriving year ahead.  

Leading licensing solicitors, Poppleston Allen, is hoping this will be one of the biggest and best years for licensed trade. The firm is advising UK publicans and licensors to audit their existing licenses and evaluate their businesses so they can look for opportunities for business growth. 

New year, new start: The importance of due diligence 

Whilst commonly a new year means a new start, for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses this is an opportunity to review what worked well the year

Alex Tomlinson

 before and what didn’t quite go to plan. During this time of reflection, it’s worth ensuring you have all that is necessary for this upcoming year and whether you might want to make any changes.  

It’s often the small, simple things which are overlooked. This is the best time to complete an audit of your premises license. For example, check that it is the most recent copy. If the premises have recently changed management or had some works completed then following this, you should have received an updated premises license. You must check this has been received and that the summary is prominently displayed. It may seem silly but checking names are correct is vitally important. The designated premise supervisor (DPS) named on the premises license must be under the correct name and with personnel changes happening relatively frequently, this could lead to a serious error. All too often management changes a DPS, and no one notices until a licensing officer comes to visit – which could have serious consequences including financial penalties.  

Ensure the relevant notices are correctly displayed and up to date, including those for CCTV. Check against the conditions on your premises license to ensure your continued compliance. Sometimes seemingly innocuous changes breach a condition which can lead to significant enforcement action. In an area that demands adherence to strict guidelines, ensuring that licenses are up to date is the first step towards a successful year ahead. 

Beyond the bar and restaurant 

One avenue to consider is the efficient utilization of available space. It is worth reconsidering the indoor and outdoor spaces you have available. Both indoor and outdoor spaces can be used for hosting weddings and civil ceremonies. And obtaining a wedding license, where possible, not only diversifies revenue streams but also positions the premises as a versatile venue for special occasions. And, as weddings and civil ceremonies are such special occasions, spending tends to be higher than other events you may host, which is good news for revenue generation.  

As the year progresses, thoughts inevitably turn towards warmer months and outdoor activities. Obtaining a pavement license can be a game-changer for businesses, allowing them to capitalize on outdoor spaces and cater to patrons seeking an al fresco dining experience. The addition of a pavement license enables the premises to extend seating areas onto public highways or outdoor spaces, creating a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. Plus, this additional space allows for an increased footfall which can lead to higher spending and in turn, higher profits.  

However, securing and maintaining a pavement license comes with its own set of regulations, including considerations of neighboring properties and noise levels. It can be difficult to apply for, so it is important to seek guidance ahead of application to avoid objections from the local authority or residents. 

Building a responsible team 

In tandem with ensuring that physical spaces are optimized, it’s equally important to invest in human capital that drives the establishment forward. Training staff in responsible alcohol service practices is a crucial aspect of maintaining a positive reputation and ensuring legal compliance.  

Ideally, key staff members should obtain personal licenses, which allows the named individual to sell or authorize the sale of alcohol. This not only demonstrates a commitment to legal compliance but also empowers staff members with the knowledge and responsibility necessary for handling the sale of alcoholic drinks.  

A summer of sport 

Looking ahead, the Paris Olympics and the UEFA Euros promise a summer filled with excitement and opportunities for premises to capitalize on the heightened interest in sport. Temporary Events Notices (TENs) and late TENs can be instrumental in securing the flexibility needed to host additional special events during this period which can generate more revenue for pubs and hospitality businesses – especially if the four nations and its athletes achieve even moderate success! 

TENS are used as temporary permissions for licensable activities. They are usually used for ad hoc events as well as being used by operators of premises to temporarily add permissions not on their license or to extend trading hours. TENs can be a great opportunity to maximize business and attract additional customers. However, the use of TENs is governed by strict procedures, provisions and limitations and must be applied for within a strict period.  

Charting a course for success 

In conclusion, 2024 presents an ideal opportunity for establishments to conduct a thorough review of their current alcohol licenses, ensuring compliance and setting the stage for a successful year ahead. By diversifying offerings through the effective use of indoor and outdoor spaces and strategically utilizing TENs, premises and operators can hope for an even more successful trading year.  

This fully comprehensive approach ensures that businesses not only navigate the regulatory landscape with confidence but also thrive in an industry that demands adaptability and a commitment to excellence and hopefully will position the premises as valuable contributors to the local social and economic community.  

For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor.  

Alex Tomlinson  


Alex Tomlinson advises varying clients in licensing applications ranging from full and minor variations to variation of designated premises supervisors. Alex has extensive knowledge of the regulations and procedures around temporary event notices. Licensing is a niche part of the law. Poppleston Allen is the leader in this niche, getting results that other firms of solicitors cannot.