Licensing Jargon Buster

To make obtain your License, EAD’s licensing team have put together this easy Jargon Buster, to explain what everything means.


A requirement added to a license to ensure that certain events or problems do not occur, or restricting the operation of the premises. Conditions that may be of particular relevance to residents as they can deal with matters such as clearing outside tables by a certain time, or that sound limiting devices be installed and in use at all times, and that notices asking patrons to leave quietly be displayed


Licensing decisions are made at a public hearing if there has been formal opposition to an application or if a review has been called for. Everyone who has made a “representation” has the right to attend a meeting before a licensing sub-committee (a panel of local councillors). The councillors hear from all parties. They ask questions and hear evidence and arguments. They then decide whether to grant the license in full, in part or to reject the application completely. They can also impose conditions on the license if they believe that would deal with the issues raised by any interested parties.

Interested parties

People or organisations that have the right to make a representation to licensing authorities on applications for the grant, variation or review of premises licenses or club premises certificates. Interested parties can also call for a review of a premises license or club premises certificate. A person who lives ‘in the vicinity’ of a premises is an interested party. Groups or bodies representing residents (e.g. residents’ associations, amenity groups etc) are also interested parties. The Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and other similar bodies are interested parties.

In the vicinity

There is definition of this phrase. Whether somebody lives or carries on business ‘in the vicinity’ of a premises is a matter for the local licensing authority. Factors to be taken into consideration include whether or not the party is likely to be affected by any disorder or disturbance occurring or potentially occurring at the premises.

Late Night Refreshment

Supplying hot food or drink to the public between 11pm and 5am. This applies to take-away and eat-in facilities.

Licensable activities

The sale of alcohol, the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club, the provision of ‘regulated entertainment’ and the provision of late night refreshment. Authorisation for licensable activities can be provided in the form of a premises license, club premises certificate or temporary event notice (TEN).

Licensed Premises

Any premises that sells alcohol, provides “regulated entertainment” or “late night refreshment”. Includes pubs, restaurants, late night cafes and takeaways, theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, bars and off-licenses.

Licensing Authority

The body responsible for licensing functions under Licensing Act 2003 in any given area, usually a local authority. The licensing authority for residents of Westminster is Westminster City Council.

Licensing Objectives

An objection or an application for a review must relate to at least one of the four licensing objectives, which are: prevention of public nuisance, public safety, prevention of crime and disorder and protection of children from harm. Licensing authorities must carry out their functions with a view to promoting these objectives.

Premise License

The most common form of authorisation for the use of premises for ‘licensable activities’.

Regulated entertainment

The commercial or public provision or entertainment or entertainment facilities such as live or recorded music, karaoke, amplified voice (e.g. compere), film, plays, and so on. It also includes indoor sports and wrestling. Dancing and providing a dance-floor is also included in this term. Similar forms of entertainment will also be included in this term and a license will be required to provide any form of “regulated entertainment”.


The formal method for residents to have a say in licensing decisions. Residents can object to the granting of a license or the variation of a license. They can also call for a review of a license if there are problems with premises. All this is done by making a representation in writing to the council’s licensing department. The representation must be about the likely effect of the grant of an application on the promotion of the licensing objectives. For more information see our guide “How to make a representation”.

Responsible authorities

Are entitled to make representations on applications and can initiate a review. The Environmental Health authority and the police are responsible authorities.


If premises are causing problems or nuisance then residents has the right to ask the council to review the license. This is a procedure that was not available to residents before and is a useful tool for anyone who has concerns about licensed premises. For more information please see our guide on the topic.


If a licensee wishes to increase the hours the premises is open for, or wishes to put on regulated entertainment, or provide late night refreshment, or to have a “condition” of the premises license removed or replaced, they apply to vary the license.



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  • Liverpool City Centre

    Prospect House, Columbus Quay
    Liverpool L3 4DB
    Phone: 0151 735 1000

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