Flint Bishop is the leading licensing lawyer for hotel operators, their professional guidance is provided to unlock the true potential of your hotel.

Hear hotelier questions and advice from Flint Bishop’s experts to understand why their extensive experience can help to elevate your hotel and ease the complexities of the licensing process.

My Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) has announced they are leaving today with immediate effect. We have a large wedding reception taking place at the hotel tomorrow. What should I do?

You cannot serve alcohol without a DPS. If the DPS on your premises licence has formally notified the authorities that they are no longer at the hotel, then you will need to act quickly. You need to submit an application, this is a swift and inexpensive process. The application can take effect immediately, but only if you have someone appropriately qualified to take on the DPS role.

A DPS must hold a personal licence. It is wise to ensure you have more than one personal licence holder employed on the site, able to step in as DPS at a moment’s notice. This will avoid any interruption in your ability to operate.

Obtaining a personal licence is good for staff development. The application form requires the applicant to have obtained an accredited licensing qualification, a criminal conviction certificate and proof of right to work in the UK. This process can’t happen overnight and so a personal licence will take a few weeks to obtain.

We regularly hold wedding receptions and wonder how difficult it might be to host civil marriages and civil partnership ceremonies?

The application forms for approval to hold civil marriages and partnership ceremonies are relatively straightforward. Whilst there is no standardised national application form or fee, in general, you are required to provide: a plan showing the rooms and any outdoor space to be used; proof you have all the necessary fire and safety provisions; details of staff suitable to make sure all the conditions are followed (including making sure no food and drink are sold in the specified hour before and during the proceedings); confirmation the premises have no religious connection. Proof of public liability insurance and planning permission may also be requested together with details of access to disabled customers. The local authority often visits during the application process to check the premises are suitable.

It is worth remembering there has been a recent change to the rules enabling ceremonies at approved premises to take place outside. There are requirements regarding public access and signage, however, if you have a beautiful garden then this may prove to be a great asset for your wedding business.