England and Wales
Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol must have a licence or other authorisation from a licensing authority (usually a local council).
You will either need a premise or a personal licence. In some cases, you may need a club premises certificate, if you are a qualifying members’ club.
While you are not required to have a personal licence to be employed in a pub or other business that sells alcohol, premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a designated premises supervisor, who holds a personal licence. Personal licences allow you to sell alcohol on behalf of any business that has a premises licence or club premises certificate.
For more information, see the government's guidance.
In Scotland, you will first have to contact your council to apply for a premises licence if you want to carry out ‘licensable activities’ from a particular venue. This includes selling and serving alcohol and providing entertainment.
When you want to sell alcohol on licenced premises, the sale must be authorised generally or specifically by a Personal Licence Holder. This means that the designated premises manager must possess a personal licence. In many premises, other members of staff also attain personal licences so that they can also authorise sales, conduct staff training, and as a matter of general best practice.
As this is a considerable responsibility, Personal Licence Holders have to:
undergo refresher training every 5 years to refresh their knowledge of the licensing regime, and send their training certificate to the relevant Licensing Board, and
apply to renew their personal licence every ten years, and lodge the renewal application no later than 3 months before the expiry date of the licence