LIQUOR LICENSING 

Missed Renewal Deadline —The Legal Hangover

As was widely reported in the media at the time, 2012/2013 saw a spate of temporary pub closures (most notably the Crown Bar) all apparently due to a failure by the relevant operators to apply for liquor licence renewals in advance of the relevant deadline.

At best these types of issues cause extended periods of closure and significant costs in terms of lost business and the expense incurred in having the problem rectified. At worst, they can result in a “dead” licence, preventing the licence holder from selling alcohol to the public, the effect of which would be terminal for many businesses in the sector.

The 5-year cycle for renewals is now once again reaching its conclusion and it is imperative that all pubs, restaurants, hotels, off-sales and other licensed businesses begin making the necessary arrangements now so that applications can be submitted on their behalf in advance of the September 2017 deadline.

The renewal process itself is relatively straightforward in most cases, save where the PSNI or Council are objecting to the renewal, but taking legal advice as early as possible is strongly recommended, particularly if there are any missing documents or irregularities with the licence, which need to be addressed prior to the application.

If you require advice in relation to any aspect of the renewal process or any concerns you may have generally in relation to your licence, please contact John Finnegan (john.finnegan@mmwlegal.com) or Abbie Long (abbie.long@mmwlegal.com) on 02890 200050.

 

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