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Late hours catering licence

Late hours catering guidance

When do I need a late hours catering licence?

You will need a late hours catering licence if you are using premises between 11pm and 5am to sell food to the public.

What should I do if I am not sure whether or not I should apply for a late hours catering licence?

You should speak to your solicitor who will explain everything to you.

Do I need to tell you about convictions more than five years old?

No. As long as you were convicted more than five years ago, and you did not go to prison, you don't need to tell us about the conviction. You must tell us if the conviction involved:

  • a prison sentence which lasted for less than six months, unless you were convicted more than seven years ago
  • a prison sentence of more than six months but less than 30 months, if you were convicted less than 10 years ago
  • a prison sentence of more than 30 months

You must always make sure that you are referring to the date of the conviction and not the date of the offence.

If you're not sure, speak to your solicitor. You must tell us about all convictions less than five years old. If you fail to tell us about a current conviction, you could be charged by Police Scotland under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

Is there anything I need to do before I submit my application?

You may want to check whether or not there are any restrictions placed on your planning permission before you apply for a licence. We suggest that you contact planning and building standards services for this information.

Do I need to do anything after I submit my application?

We will provide you with a site notice which you must display with a full copy of your filled in application at your premises. You will have to fill in the dates on the site notice yourself. You must display the site notice and application in a position where it can be easily seen by members of the public 24 hours a day. You should display them for 28 days after the date your local office receives your application. This is known as the objection period, and is to give people the chance to object to your application. If you do not display all of the application form and site notice, your application for a licence may be delayed and we may make you start the 28-day objection period again.

Do I need to show my home address on the copy of the application displayed at the site?

No, you can use the business address on the application you display.

What happens to my application when I apply for my licence?

When we receive your application, we will send a copy of it to Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Planning and Building Services, Environmental Services and the local councillor for the area where your business is. This is to give them the chance to make comments and objections.

Will anyone inspect the site notice?

Yes, our enforcement officer will check to make sure that you are displaying the site notice properly.

Can I sell food during late hours before you approve my application?

No, you will need to wait until a decision has been made on your application before you can operate between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

Can anyone object to my application?

Once you submit the application, there is a 28-day objection period. During this time, anyone who wants to object to your application can contact the Licensing office.

What happens next?

After the 28-day objection period, we will consider your application and all the relevant comments or objections and decide whether we need to put your application before the appropriate committee or deal with it under delegated powers (that is, powers given to council officers in consultation with the chair or deputy chair of the licensing committee).

If you grant my licence will there be conditions I have to meet?

Yes, if your premises:

  • are close to a residential property, or customers going to and from your premises will affect residential areas, and there is currently no late hours catering in the area, you will not be able to trade after 11pm
  • affect residential premises but there already is late hours catering in the area, we will consider the following extensions:
  1. Monday to Thursday - trading until 12 midnight
  2. Friday to Sunday - trading until 1am
  • are away from residential areas (for example, town centres where there are no blocks of flats or other residential properties, or in purpose-built shopping centres), we will consider granting a licence to trade until 3am

What happens if I sell my business?

If you sell your business, the new owner will need to apply for a late hours catering licence as you cannot transfer your licence to them. The new owner will need to go through the application process from the beginning.

What happens if I open beyond the hours on my licence?

If you have been granted a late hours catering licence allowing you to trade to a set time (for example, 12.30am) and you trade beyond these hours, this is an offence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and you could be fined.

Comments and suggestions

We are committed to customer service and we are always interested in your comments and suggestions on any part of our service. You can email with your comments.

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