When a premises licence lapses and what to do next.
A premises licence is valid until:
- you give it up
- it expires if it's for a set period
- it lapses
When a premises licence lapses
A premises licence lapses when the licence holder:
- becomes a person who lacks capacity, as defined by the Mental Capacity Act 2005
- becomes insolvent, which means they cannot pay their debts
- is dissolved
- stops being a recognised club, as defined by the Licensing Act 2003, if the licence holder is a club
- loses or does not have the right to work in the United Kingdom
An individual becomes insolvent when:
- a voluntary arrangement proposed by them is approved
- they go bankrupt, or their estate is sequestrated
- they enter into a trust deed for their creditors
A company becomes insolvent when:
- a voluntary arrangement proposed by its directors is approved
- an administrator is appointed in respect of the company
- an administrative receiver is appointed in respect of the company
- it goes into liquidation
The Licencing Act 2003 has more information about death, incapacity, insolvency of a licence holder.
A licence lapses as soon as any of the above happens. No licensable activity can take place at the premises once the licence lapses.
If you allow licensable activity to take place without a licence, you could be subject to penalties including:
- imprisonment of up to six months
- an unlimited fine
- both imprisonment and a fine
We may reinstate a licence if you apply to transfer the licence into a different name within 28 days of the licence lapse.
If a licence has lapsed for more than 28 days, you cannot apply to transfer it. You'll need to apply for the grant of a new licence.