Licensing Pricing

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About Our Prices


Costs for application for a new premises licence/applications to vary an existing premises licence.

Given the similar nature of the process and work involved in applications for new licences and applications to vary existing licences, the below pricing will apply to both scenarios.

Where applicable, VAT is charged at a rate of 20% unless specifically stated.

An administrative fee associated with the cost of storage of papers applies on each file at £40 + £8 vat = £48.

Our Licensing Fees

Stage 1 – Pre-Application Advice

Clients will sometimes require advice about a licensing project prior to beginning the process of submitting an application to the local authority seeking authorisation for the sale/supply of alcohol, variations to opening hours and/or licence(s) for entertainment purposes. This, for the majority of cases, will usually be a quick process and take no longer than half a day. Clients often seek advice regarding how they can promote the licensing objectives within their application and this can be dealt with at this stage.

Fees are chargeable at £300 per hour plus VAT (total £360.00). This stage is not always necessary with less complex applications, but where clients require more bespoke advice about the approach to a matter, charges will typically vary between £300 plus VAT (total £360.00) and around £500 plus VAT (total £600.00). This will include either verbal or written advice about strategy and can include assistance with explaining the requirements of layout plans and liaising with a plan designer. It will not include the preparation of the plan itself.

Stage 2 – Preparation And Submission Of Application To Local Authority

(Does not include preparation of layout plans or pre-application advice):

  • Our fees – a fixed fee of £1,000.00 to £1,750.00 plus VAT (Total £1,200.00 to £2,100.00), dependent on the complexity of the application;
  • Local authority fee – This will be dependent upon the rateable value of the premises in question, but typically £190 or £315 (no VAT); and
  • Advertising fee – This will be dependent on the size of the advert text (usually charged by the letter) and costs will vary from publication to publication, but typically between £200 plus VAT (total £240.00) and £400 plus VAT (total £480.00)

This stage will include the preparation and submission of the application to the local authority, disclosing it to the relevant responsible authorities (police, environmental health, fire etc) and the advertisement of the application. We will prepare the necessary site notices and send these to you for you to display, as well as arranging for a consent form to be provided to the nominated DPS for signature.

The submission of the application will typically take two to three days after instruction. Once submitted, the application will be subject to a 28-day representation period, after which the application will be granted or referred to a sub-committee for a hearing to decide the matter.

The fees for this stage will include the preparation and submission of papers to the local authority. It will not include the preparation of a layout plan and will not include any time spent dealing with representations and/or the preparation for any hearing. Where an application is granted outright and no representations are received by the local authority, these fees will include the receipt and checking of the new/varied licence from the local authority and the dispatch of a certified copy of it to the client.

Please note that our £1,000.00 to £1,750.00 plus VAT fixed fee is for standard applications. Where an application is more complex (for example for particularly large sites or events), we will provide a fixed fee quote based on our hourly rate.

Stage 2 does not include the following costs:

  • Obtaining and preparing suitable plans (This is usually done by the client, but costs in advising regarding this can be found at stage 1);
  • Attending pre-consultation meetings with the council and/or licensing authority (This is not often required, but can be included and charged at an hourly rate of £300 plus VAT (total £360.00) at stage 1);
  • Dealing with or advising you regarding representations received in respect of applications (see stage 3);
  • Advising you regarding the variation of an application or existing licence (see stage 1);
  • Attending and representing you at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate (see stage 3).

In the unlikely event that an application is rejected by the local authority and the client wishes to resubmit it, these costs (and the costs of later stage(s) will be incurred again.

Stage 3 – Representations And Hearing

Where representations (objections) to applications are received by the local authority, time will need to be spent considering those objections and (usually) seeking to either negotiate their withdrawal (in order for an application to be granted without the need for a hearing) or to prepare to attend a hearing of the application at the local authority on behalf of the client.

Hearings are usually heard within 28 days of the end of the representation period (which ends 28 days after the application is submitted). The amount of work required for this stage will vary depending on the volume, length, nature and type of representation made, the location of the premises, the location of the hearing, the complexity of the matter and (crucially) the amount of time the preparation and hearing takes.

Costs for this stage will usually fall between or around £600 plus VAT (two hours of time – total £720.00) for simple applications, £1,500 plus VAT (five hours of time – total £1,800.00) for medium complexity applications and £3,000 plus VAT (10 hours of time – total £3,600.00) for high complexity applications.

Factors which will affect the complexity of an application can include:

  • Whether the premises falls within a cumulative impact zone;
  • Whether the application is likely to attract large numbers of representations/objections;
  • Whether the application is contentious for any particular reason, due perhaps to the hours or activities sought or the location of the premises;
  • The size of the application/operation (for example, seeking a licence for a large outdoor public event will typically be more complex than obtaining one for a café or small restaurant).

The practice is willing in certain circumstances to negotiate fixed fees for this stage where clients prefer certainty in terms of the costs they are going to incur.

Matters usually take four to eight weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents from you that we need, then the timescale may increase.

Licensing Team

Ed Smith


0113 297 1875

Ed is a partner in our dispute resolution department and also deals with licensing matters. Read More.

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