Updating a Premises Licence

If you’re thinking of making changes to your premises you’ll almost certainly need to apply to have your licence updated before you do anything. This is also known as Premises Licence variation. 

Changes to the layout of your building, the hours you’re open or any of the non-mandatory conditions stated in the licence all require approval from your local authority.

Minor changes to layout or some non-mandatory conditions can be completed within 15 working days. Bigger changes or anything that affects the number of hours you open for the sale of alcohol will require a fuller application and takes at least 28 days to complete.

As with applying for a new licence, we can help you with every aspect of updating your current licence including appearing in front of Committees on your behalf if any objections are raised.

Examples of what can be updated on your premises licence include:

  • Hours of a permitted licensable activity
  • Adding or removing licensable activities
  • Amending, adding or removing conditions on a licence
  • Altering any aspect of the layout of the premises that appears on the plan

Changing a name or address on a premises licence

Updating the name of the Premises Licence Holder or Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) if it is the same person, e.g if the person has gotten married and changed their name, can be done simply by notifying the local authority in your area. Transferring the premises licence to another person or nominating another DPS requires an application to transfer the premises licence. 

This can cause some complications if you have to change the DPS at short notice, however to make the process easier, and to minimise the chance of disruption to your business, as soon as the application is submitted and the application fee paid, the change is deemed to be in place with immediate effect. 

Minor variations

Minor variations to a premises licence will be accepted by the licensing authority without a full consultation if they are satisfied that they will not adversely affect the licensing objectives. The Minor Variation process is quicker and simpler than the full variation process, and carries a lower cost. Note, only the premises licence holder can make an application to vary the licence.

Minor variations to premises licences include:

  • Small changes to the structure or layout of a premises
  • The addition of late night refreshment or entertainment
  • Small changes to licensing hours
  • Revisions, removals and additions of conditions

Full variations

If a minor variation cannot be used then a full variation process will be required. This follows the same application procedure as applying for a new premises licence, and has an application time of 28 days. Any minor application that has been refused must be submitted as a full variation, including any fees that come with it.

Time frames for making changes

Applications for changes to premises licences can differ depending on the variations made, however all variations are usually handled within 28 days. Minor variations can be handled within 15 working days.

It is recommended that you seek advice as soon as you want to make changes to your premises licence to avoid any delay in your application, especially if the variation is likely to require a full variation application.

Premises Licence variation costs

Depending on the amount and type of variation that is required to update your premises licence there will be various associated costs. More information can be found on our premises licence variation costs page.

If your application requires a specific change that you might not be confident of, contact us to go through your needs and for advice on what steps you can take.


Major Variation

An application for variation of a Premises Licence pursuant to s.34 Licensing Act 2003.  This type of variation application can be utilised to increase the trading hours of the premises, amend non-mandatory conditions or carry out significant structural alterations.

Minor Variation

An application for variation of a Premises Licence pursuant to s.41A Licensing Act 2003.  This type of variation application is restricted and cannot be utilised to increase the total number of hours a premises is permitted to retail alcohol.

Premises Licence

A licence issued pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003 or Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 as appropriate, authorising a defined area to be used for one or more licensable activity.

Premises Licence Holder

The holder of a premises licence, the holder can be a person aged 18 or over, a limited company or a partnership.