Costs for Licensing Applications for Business Premises

A premises licence is required if your business offers one or more of the three licensable activities: the sale of alcohol, the provision of late-night refreshment, or the provision of regulated entertainment. We can support you through the licensing application and variations to existing applications, so your business is able to carry out these activities.
To find out more about how Kidwells Solicitors could support you, contact us at 01432 278 179 for a confidential chat or email

How long will it take? What are the stages?

Straightforward cases, where you are able to provide all the necessary documents quickly, can typically be resolved within 5-8 weeks. Each application is unique, so we can advise on estimated timescale when we speak to you about your case.

Whatever the complexity, each application involves a 28 day consultation period during which relevant authorities can make a representation regarding the application. If there are any objections from the relevant authorities, a hearing must be held within 20 days unless it’s agreed that a formal hearing is unnecessary.

The complexity of the case is determined by the type and nature of the premises, the size, and which licensable activities are being proposed.

The location can have an impact as well, for example, if it is located in a residential area or a cumulative impact policy area with the rebuttable presumption against granting new premises licenses.

If you’re not sure if your case applies, get in touch. Our legal team will advise if we can help – this initial enquiry over the phone is free. Call us at 01432 278 179 or email with as much detail as possible.

What are the costs?

Our legal team works on an hourly rate basis of £110 to £350 excluding VAT per hour, depending on the person instructed. Legal fees attract a VAT rate of 20%. It’s difficult to give an exact rate without knowing the details, but we’re able to advise on typical costs below depending on the complexity of the case.

Simple applications

  • £660 to £1320 excluding VAT
  • Plus disbursements, such as the application fee (assuming 3-6 hours incurred by our legal team)

Medium Complexity applications

  • £1320 to £1920 excluding VAT
  • Plus disbursements, such as the application fee (assuming 6-9 hours incurred by our legal team)

High Complexity applications

  • £1920 to £2640+ excluding VAT
  • Plus disbursements, such as the application fee (assuming 9-12+ hours incurred by our legal team)

These estimates include:

  • Prices are excluding VAT
  • The initial meeting with you to discuss the matter, gather information and review all the relevant documentation
  • Advising you on how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application and how they could be applied
  • Completing the application form for you, whether for a new licence or for a variation. You must provide suitable plans for this.
  • Advising on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority, who charge fees based on the value of the premises
  • Preparing the application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving these copies of the application to them, during the consultation period
  • Drafting the notices to advertise the application and arranging to advertise the notice in the local newspaper
  • Advising you on how and where to display notice(s) advertising your premises licence application, in order to comply with the legal requirements. We could also instruct enquiry agents to do this on your behalf.
  • Once granted, checking the licence and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

These estimates don’t include:

  • Obtaining suitable plans to use for the licensing application
  • Our legal team attending pre-consultation meetings with the licensing authority or responsible authorities
  • The third-party fees for the application itself or for any meetings with third parties
  • Our legal team attending a licensing hearing, if there are objections and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required. If this is needed, we will advise and provide a separate costs estimate at our hourly rate.

Factors that Affect Cost

We will advise you as much as possible throughout our support what the costs will be, both of our fees and of third party disbursements. Complications that would increase the time spent on your matter, and therefore your overall costs, could include:

  • If the premises supervisor first needs a personal licence, which is a requirement before you can be granted a premises licence
  • If your business is located in a Cumulative Impact Area/Zone
  • If there are objections to your application
  • If you have been refused an application and wish to appeal

What does the hourly rate include?

Our hourly rate encompasses the time spent on your behalf, excluding additional expenses which are detailed below. Prices are excluding VAT. Legal fees attract a VAT rate of 20%. This hourly rate includes meetings with you and perhaps other authorised persons on your behalf; reading, preparing and working on papers; making and receiving telephone calls, emails, faxes and text messages; preparation of any detailed costs estimates, schedules and bills; and time necessarily spent travelling away from the office on your behalf.

Expenses on top of our hourly rate can include, but are not limited to:

  • rail and air travel charged out at cost and travel by car is charged at a flat rate of 45p per mile;
  • car parking; and
  • the full cost of overnight accommodation if required.

Any applicable expenses would be discussed with you before they are incurred.

What are the possible third party costs involved?

Please note that payments due to other third parties, known as disbursements, are not included in our fees. These disbursements include, but are not limited to: Barristers, Experts, and Court Fees. If an Expert, Barrister, or other third party needs to be instructed you will be provided with a list of quotes for your approval prior to engaging their services. We will request monies on account to pay for their services if required. We will advise on which Barrister we would recommend based on our experience, to assist you throughout the entire process.

In the case of a licensing application, typical disbursements include:

  • Fees from the local authority, Counsel’s fees, and registry search fees, where necessary
  • Photocopying charges

You will be notified of any other disbursements before they are incurred and asked to make payment on account.


Is your business evolving? Speak to one of our solicitors and get bespoke advice. Please call 01432 278 179 and ask for Michael Horne. We’re here to help.

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