Club Premises Certificate

Licence summary

To authorise the supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment in a qualifying club you need a club premises certificate from your local authority. 

In a qualifying club there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (except to guests) as the member owns part of the alcohol stock and the money passing across the bar is merely a mechanism to preserve equity between members where one may consume more than another. In order to constitute a qualifying club you must also satisfy the various requirements set out in the Licensing Act 2003.

The Act sets out key licensing objectives that must be promoted by the Council in carrying out its duties.

These objectives are:

  1. The prevention of crime and disorder
  2. Public safety
  3. The prevention of public nuisance
  4. The protection of children from harm

Eligibility criteria

Clubs must be qualifying clubs. A qualifying club has general conditions it must satisfy. These are:

  • a person may not be given memberships or as a candidate for membership to any membership privileges without an interval of at least two days from their membership application or nomination and their membership being granted
  • that club rules state that those becoming member without nomination or application cannot have membership privileges for at least two days between them becoming members and being admitted to the club
  • that the club is established and conducted in good faith
  • that the club has at least 25 members
  • that alcohol is only supplied to members on the premises on behalf or by the club

Additional conditions in relation to the supply of alcohol must be complied with. These conditions are:

  • that alcohol purchased for and supplied by the club is done by members of club is managed by a committee whose members are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members
  • that no person at the expense of the club receives any commission, percentage or other similar payment in regard to the purchase of alcohol by the club
  • that there are no arrangements for anyone either directly or indirectly to receive a financial benefit from supplying alcohol, apart from any benefit to the club as a whole or to any person indirectly from the supply giving rise or contributing to a general gain from running the club
  • Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club is done under the control of the members or a committee of members.
  • Relevant miners' welfare institutes can also be considered. A relevant institute is one that is managed by a committee or board that consists of at least two thirds of people appointed or elevated by one or more licensed operators under the Coal Industry Act 1994 and by one or more organisations who represent coal mine employees. The institute can be managed by the committee or board where the board cannot be made up as detailed above but is made up of at least two thirds of members who were employed or are employed in or around coal mines and also by people who were appointed by the Coal Industry Welfare Organisation or by a body who had similar functions under the Miners' Welfare Act 1952. In any case the premises of the institute must be held on a trust as required under the Recreational Charities Act 1958.

Regulation summary

The Licensing Act 2003 has established a single integrated scheme for licensing premises for the supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment or to provide late night refreshment. However the provision of late night refreshment is subject to an exemption from the requirement to licence this activity at a recognised club as schedule 2 of the Licensing Act 2003 states at paragraph 3 that it is an exempt supply if it supplied to a member of a recognised club or his guest.

South Somerset District Council is the Licensing Authority under the Licensing Act 2003, and has responsibility for the licensing of all relevant premises within its boundaries. 

Statement of Licensing Policy under the Licensing Act 2003. 


Application evaluation process

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

A club can apply for a club premises certificate for any premises, which are occupied and used regularly for club purposes.

Applications should be made to the local licensing authority, which for premises situated in South Somerset will be South Somerset District Council. Applicants are required to advertise their application at the premises and in a local newspaper that circulates in the area in which the Club is situated. If the application is not made through the online process, applicants must also give a copy of the application form and plan to the relevant responsible authorities, e.g. the chief police officer and the fire and rescue authority - see link below address of Responsible Authorities. Please note applicants are required to serve two copies of the application and plans on the Licensing Authority as one part of the Authority is the Responsible Authority and the other acts in an administrative role.

Applications should be submitted with a scaled plan of the premises showing the mandatory information; a copy of the rules of the club and a club operating schedule.

A club operating schedule is a document which must be in a specific format (see eligibility link as above) and which includes information on:

  • the activities of the club
  • the times the activities are to take place
  • other opening times
  • if alcohol supplies are for consumption on or off the premises or both
  • the steps that the club propose to take to promote the licensing objectives
  • any other information that is required

If there any alterations to the rules or name of the club before an application is determined or after a certificate is issued, the club secretary must give details to the local licensing authority. If a certificate is in place this must be sent to the licensing authority when they are notified.

If a certificate is in place and the registered address of the club changes the club must give notice to the local licensing authority of the change and provide the certificate with the notice.

Please note there is a form to notify us of any changes to the name of the club and/or registered address and/or alteration of the rules. A £10.50 statutory fee applies to each change.

A club may apply to the local licensing authority to vary a certificate. The certificate and summary should accompany the application.

The local licensing authority may inspect the premises before an application is considered.

A non-refundable fee is payable for any type of application relating to a club premises certificate. 



Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period, which is subject to the submission of all information required and compliance with the advertising requirements. The timescale is 30 days after receipt of a valid application.

If you are submitting this application by post tacit consent will only apply when the business can show proof of delivery from the Post Office or recognised courier. You are also strongly advised to obtain proof of delivery of the copy sent to the Chief of Police.

Timescales for processing an application do not start until all the necessary information has been received in full.


How to apply

Apply online for a Club Premises Licence

Alternatively you can apply by completing the following:

Notification of changes:




If a local licensing authority refuses an application for a variation, the certificate holder may appeal the decision. A certificate holder can appeal against a decision to put conditions on a certificate or to exclude any club activity. Appeals may also be made against the variation of any condition or against the decision of a review hearing.

Where the licensing authority (the council) has given notice that it believes the club has ceased to be a qualifying club, A club may appeal against the withdrawing of a certificate.

Appeals must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

The Magistrates Court
Petters Way
BA20 1SW

Telephone: 01935 426281


Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

A club member, an Interested Party or a Responsible Authority may request a review of the certificate. The licensing committee (or its sub-committee) will make a determination of the application for review at review hearing. The local licensing authority will give reasons for their response to the application in a notice.

Any appeals against the decision of a review must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

The Magistrates Court
Petters Way
BA20 1SW

Telephone: 01935 426281

Other redress

Any interested party may make representations in writing to the local licensing authority before the certificate is granted or before variations to a certificate are granted.

If representations are made, a hearing will be held to consider the application and the representations. A decision notices will be sent by the licensing service detailing the reasons for any outcome to relevant parties. An interested party is:

  • a person living in the vicinity of the premises or a body representing such a person
  • a person involved in a business in the vicinity of the premises or a body representing such a person

An interested party may request a review of the club premises certificate. The local licensing authority will give reasons for their response to the application in a notice.

An interested party may appeal if they argue that a certificate should not have been granted or that different or additional conditions or limitations on activities should have been made. They may also appeal against any variation of a condition or that it ought to have modified them in a different way.

Any appeals against the decision of a review must be made to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the decision appealed.

The Magistrates Court
Petters Way
BA20 1SW

Telephone: 01935 426281


Trade associations

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)

Public Register

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