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Fee estimates: Licensing applications for business premises

Our specialist licensing team is able to assist you in applying for a new licence or an application to vary an existing licence. When acting in such matters costs are calculated based on our hourly fee rates. The cost of your matter will depend upon the complexity however below are the average ranges for simple, medium, and high complexity matters.

Simple matters: £1,250 to £1,750 plus VAT (currently 20%)

Medium complexity case: £1,500 to £2,500 plus VAT (currently 20%)

High complexity case: £2,500 to £8,000 plus VAT (currently 20%)

The above costs would include:

  • Taking initial instructions;
  • Reviewing documentation including the licensing policy;
  • Advising clients as to how they can promote the licensing objectives within their premises licence application;
  • Advising on the type of plans required to accompany their application;
  • Disclosing the application to the responsible authorities;
  • Making arrangements for the necessary advertising of the application;
  • Reviewing any existing premises licence when dealing with variations;
  • Drafting and lodging a new premises licence application or a premises licence variation.

The above cost estimates do not include rectifying errors made, for example, when the premises licence is issued and further communication is required with the local authority to rectify such errors and to ensure the premises licence is re-issued, as agreed.

Factors that may increase complexity and therefore increase cost:

  • Where a premises is located within a cumulative impact zone/stress area, there will be a presumption against granting a premises licence and further work will be required in order to rebut that presumption;
  • Where objections/representations are made in response to applications, further time will be incurred in dealing with these;
  • Where it is known that applications will be objected to prior to lodging them, pre-action work will be required in order to minimise these. This may include discussions with the local authority, police, residents, as necessary and requesting pre-application advice, including site visits;
  • Where objections/representations are received in response to an application, a hearing will be listed and further work will be required to prepare for the hearing;
  • Dealing with a licensing appeal matter i.e. when a local authority has refused the grant of a premises licence.

There are also a number of factors that may decrease cost:

  • Where the client provides clear and concise instructions and all relevant paperwork;
  • Where an application is straightforward and no objections/representations are received.

There are a number of disbursements that you may be required to pay:

  • Local authority fees
  • Counsel’s fees
  • Land registry search fees, where necessary
  • Royal mail charges
  • Photocopying charges
  • Travel, where necessary

Please note these fees vary depending on the individual premises and its location. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges given above. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.

A straightforward application is likely to take approximately 5 to 6 weeks to complete.

A more complex application where a hearing is necessary will take approximately 8 to 15 weeks from instruction to conclusion. This is dependent upon the amount of pre-application work necessary and when a hearing is listed.

The team

Our licensing team is led by Philip Somarakis, Partner and Head of Regulatory Solutions based in London. Philip has over 20 years of post-qualification experience and has appeared in over 100 contested licensing hearings before Licensing Committees and in the Magistrates Courts for clients ranging from multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, stately homes hosting music festivals, and breweries.  Philip has also successfully defended licence holders in criminal proceedings for various licensing and consumer-related offences.

Philip is supported by Joanna Onisiforou who is a qualified Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and a specialised lawyer in Property Litigation and Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing.

For detailed profiles of the team, click on the links below:

For more information

For more information about using our professional services for a new licence or an application to vary an existing licence, please get in touch either by telephone, email or our website enquiry form.  One of our team would be delighted to speak to you and provide you with a fixed fee bespoke to your needs.

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