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You will need a premises licence if you want to use your premises to:

  • sell alcohol
  • provide regulated entertainment
  • sell hot food between 11pm and 5am (late night refreshments)

If you are offering skin piercing or tattooing services, you need to register for yourself and the premises.

Late Night Levy

If you sell alcohol from 1am, you will need to pay a Late Night Levy fee. You also need to pay the premises licence fee.

You can find out more about the Late Night Levy fee.

To make an application, you will need to:

If you are having trouble downloading the application form, you can read our guidance.

Supporting documents

When you make your application, you will need to provide a number of documents.

You will need:

  • a plan of the premises
  • an operating schedule
  • consent from your Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS)

You can print this form

You can also download and print the application form. If you decide to download and print your application, you will need to:

If you upload your completed application form, we will send your application to the responsible authorities.

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • acknowledge it within three working days
  • hold a consultation for 28 days, allowing for representations

If we receive any representations, we will take the application to the Licensing Committee for councillors to consider. We will then notify you of their decision.

If we do not grant your licence, we will not refund your fee.

If we do not receive any representations, we will grant the licence.

If we grant your licence, it will be valid unless you surrender it or we revoke it. Although you do not need to renew your licence each year, you will need to pay an annual fee. You will need to pay the fee on the same date as when we granted your licence.

Once you have submitted your application, the next day you must display a public notice at the premises. The notice must be:

  • on size A4 paper, or larger
  • printed on light blue paper
  • printed on black ink
  • size 16 font or larger

You can download and view a public notice template.

The notice must state the licensable activities and days and times intended. In the case of a minor variation, the notice must briefly describe the variation applied for.

You must place the notice in a prominent position so that it can be easily read.

If the premises is 50 metres square or larger, then you must place notices every 50 metres along the perimeter (including where it borders the highway and any footpaths). The notice must remain in place for 28 days, 10 days for a minor variation.

You must arrange for the local newspaper to publish a copy of the notice within 10 working days of the submission of the application. This does not apply for a minor variation.

The fee you will need to pay depends on the rateable value of your premises. You can read our guidance on fees.

When you submit your application, we will send you an email with information about the different payment options. 

You will not need to pay a fee if you will not be selling alcohol or providing late night refreshment, and the premises is:

  • an educational institution

  • a church hall, chapel hall or similar building

  • a village hall, parish hall or similar building

Once we have granted your licence, you will need to pay the fee every year. We send out reminders and invoices before the due date, if you have requested this.

If you fail to make the payment, we may suspend your licence. 

Although you do not need to renew your licence each year, you will need to pay an annual fee. You will need to pay the fee on the same date as when we granted your licence.

There are a few ways you can pay your yearly fee. This includes:

By phone

You can pay the application or renewal fee by calling our Licensing team on 01245 606606.

By bank transfer

You can pay by bank transfer. Our bank details are:

  • Account name: Chelmsford City Council
  • Sort code: 60-05-13
  • Account number: 55600018

You need to include your invoice number or licence number (if you have not received an invoice) as the reference when you pay by bank transfer.

If you don't pay your annual fee

We will wait seven days after the due date to allow the payment to clear. 

If we have still not received the fee by this date, we will send you a notice of suspension letter.

If the fee remains unpaid, we will suspend the licence and inform all relevant responsible authorities.

If you continue to operate the premises when we've suspended your licence, this can result in an unlimited fine and a prison sentence. 

If you fail to produce your licence on request

If you fail to produce your licence on request, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000.

If you carry out licensable activities at your premises without a premises licence, you could receive a:

  • fine
  • prison sentence of up to six months
  • fine and a prison sentence 

If a premises licence holder leaves without paying the annual fee, then we will suspend the licence.

If someone wants to take over a business and trade where there is an outstanding annual fee, they will need to pay that fee. We can then remove the suspension.

The new owner will then need to apply to transfer the licence.

We review the licence suspensions for non-payment of the annual fee on an individual basis.

As an example, if the annual fee is not paid between November and February, the suspension notice could take effect from 31 March.

The suspension will remain in place until you pay the annual fee.

We will reinstate the licence immediately after we receive payment.

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Last updated: 20 October 2022