This is a certificate that is issued to premises that are operated as a club. Being a club means public access is restricted and alcohol is supplied other than for profit. These clubs are organisations where members have joined together for particular social, sporting and political purposes. Some examples of these are Labour, Conservative and Liberal Clubs, the Royal British Legion, other ex-services clubs, working men’s clubs, miners welfare institutions and social and sports clubs.

Alcohol sales

Clubs have traditionally not been licensed because sales of alcohol do not technically take place. Alcohol sales are between the members who own part of the alcohol stock. Money that passes across the servery is merely a mechanism to preserve fairness between members, where one may consume more than another. No arrangements are made for any individual to receive any commission, percentage or similar payment for the purchase of alcohol made on behalf of the club at its expense.


To qualify for a Club Premises Certificate, the club must meet these criteria:

  • under the club rules, people may not be admitted to membership or be admitted as candidates for membership to any privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination or application for membership and their admission
  • people becoming members without prior nomination or application may not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their becoming members and their admission
  • the club is established and conducted in good faith
  • the club has at least 25 members
  • alcohol is not to be supplied to members on the premises otherwise than by or on behalf of the club
  • the purchase and supply of alcohol by the club is done by members of the club who are over 18 years of age and are elected to do so by the members.

Registered industrial and provident societies and friendly societies will qualify if the alcohol is purchased for and supplied by the club under the control of the members or a committee of members.

Good faith

Factors which have a bearing upon whether or not a club is deemed to be established and conducted in good faith are:

  • any arrangements restricting the club's freedom to purchase of alcohol
  • any provision in the rules or arrangements under which the money or property of the club or any gain arising from the carrying on of the club is or maybe applied otherwise than for the benefit of the club as a whole or for charitable, benevolent or political purposes
  • the arrangements for giving members information about the finances of the club
  • the books of account and other records kept to ensure the accuracy of that information
  • the nature of the premises occupied by the club.


Qualifying clubs should not be confused with proprietary clubs, which are clubs run commercially by individuals or businesses for the purpose of profit. These require the normal Premises Licence. The definition of profit for this purpose is that those responsible for the club intended to make a profit. If they make a charge simply to cover costs and accidentally make a small profit owing to miscalculation, they need not worry. What matters is their intention at the outset.

Hiring out part of the premises

Club members can hire the premises without too much difficulty under the Club Premises Certificate.

If the premises are to be hired by non-members, the club must apply for a Premises Licence rather than a Club Premises Certificate. Please contact the Licensing Unit for further information or seek legal advice.

Making an application

Apply for a new Club Premises Certificate

Apply for a variation of Club Premises Certificate

Apply for a minor variation of Club Premises Certificate

Apply for a notification of club rules


All applications are based on the four licensing objectives:

  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • the protection of children from harm.

What is defined as Premises and Land

Please make sure that the premises, land, temporary structure, vessel, vehicles, train or aircraft have the necessary permission to be used as licensed premises.

Planning issues

The use of any licensed places or premises is subject to planning controls. There are several key differences between licensing and planning control.

Licensing is concerned with the fitness of the operator and detailed issues concerning the operation and management of the premises that are not addressed by the planning process, which relates to the use of the premises.

It will be expected in general that the grant or variation of planning permission would be resolved before a licence application is made. The licensing committee may refuse to grant a licence following representations from the local planning authority if the:

  • activity sought to be licensed would amount to an unlawful use of the premises
  • hours being sought exceed those authorised by any planning permission.

It will be for the applicant to demonstrate any special circumstances to justify a departure from this policy in the face of representations from the local planning authority.

Licensing information

Please note that the information above is not legal advice. Legislation and procedures may change over time and the advice given is based on the information available at the current time. It is not necessarily comprehensive and will be subject to revision in the event of further government guidance and regulations. This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to or substitute for the relevant law.

The council is happy to provide information but cannot give advice on individual applications. Please seek legal and professional advice.

For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR