Licensing Law - License to Thrill
20th May 2019
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Birmingham, being the second city after London, has become a thriving and booming business industry, attracting people from a diverse background to the thousands of businesses in the area.   Businesses from food outlets and clubs to pubs and nightlife attractions all have one denominator - they require licenses to operate.  Without the correct license obtained from Birmingham City Council they run the risk of their businesses being suspended or, worse, shut down.   The array of licenses is wide-reaching, from permitting alcohol to be sold to the installation of CCTV cameras, permitting dancing at your venue and, for a majority of businesses, a "late night license".  

Licensing Applications:   Birmingham City Council is responsible for authorising licenses to the local businesses upon receipt of their applications.  Not all licenses are granted as some businesses are unaware of the application procedure and what it entails.  However, once granted you are subject to the conditions of the license and contravention of any terms deems you liable to either suspension, closing down and/or criminal proceedings.   Businesses should be aware that if the council has enforced a suspension or closed them down upon their belief that license terms have not been complied with, they do have the "right to appeal" against the decision.

  Further, should corrective action be recommended to remedy the breach or violation of the licensing terms, this should be undertaken immediately within the specific time frame that has been given.     Although businesses in the area pay business rates, these do not include fees for licensing applications or any detrimental action caused as a result of not having a license or failing to adhere to the stipulated conditions.  The onus of being license-compliant and it`s renewal is placed firmly on the business owners.     Food Outlets - Restaurants, Pubs, Clubs & All Venues Serving Food:   With a vast array of food outlets tantalising a range of taste buds by the offerings of the city`s vibrant foodie community, local businesses need to be extra cautious that they are compliant with the high standards of the Food Standards Agency and all terms of the licenses they hold.  

  Once it becomes common knowledge around the area that your restaurant or fast food takeaway joint has been downgraded and there are hygiene issues, the impact upon not only your business but your reputation will be hard to rebuild.  Preventative measures to ensure that you do not face this nightmare is to achieve the highest rating and to maintain the standard, together with ensuring that you obtain the correct license and are compliant with it`s conditions.    Alcohol:   All venues selling alcohol must be license-compliant, one of the standard terms being customers are not under age when selling alcohol.  Some restaurants thinking of selling alcohol at their venue are permitted to do so but only if they hold the specific license.  Without it, you are prohibited from selling and this will result in criminal proceedings at the local magistrates` court.  

  Safety of Customers:  All businesses want their customers to have enjoyed  themselves and to return.  However, does the business ensure the safety of their customers by recommending licensed taxi services?  All taxi services recommended should hold the appropriate license and be registered for the sake of any issues which may occur. 

  Help:   If you do find the business is in a predicament and facing closure or suspension, do not bury your head in the sand.  Situations can be remedied but it is better to act immediately for damage limitation purposes.    

If any businesses have licensing issues/court proceedings instigated against them or wish to seek advice to ensure the appropriate and correct applications are made, please contact Ian Henery Solicitors for a free half hour consultation at:

About the Author

Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

Managing Director of an award winning law firm
Ian Henery Solicitors Ltd

Award winning poet and playwright

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