Licence requirements

Any premises selling hot food or hot drink at any time between 11pm and 5am must be licensed under the Licensing Act 2003.

Late night refreshment means the supply of hot food or hot drink to the public for consumption on or off the premises, between 11pm and 5am. Businesses affected by this requirement will include cafés, fast food outlets and mobile catering vehicles operating during this time period. Public houses which are licensed for alcohol but also provide late night refreshment should check their existing licence to ensure that they are authorised for late night refreshment.

It should also be noted that if a supermarket or other business premises (for example, a garage) heats food or drink for customers between 11pm and 5am, or provides facilities for customers to heat food or drink above ambient temperature, a premises licence is required. However, if the business is selling only cold food and drink, and not providing facilities to heat it, a premises licence is not required.


There are exemptions to the requirement for a premises licences for the provision of late night refreshment. Please check GN1 for details.

Who can apply for a premises licence?

Individuals, businesses or partnerships can apply. In the case of an individual, the applicant must be aged 18 or over.

How do you apply for a premises licence?

  • Complete an application form (EDP422). You can use our online service or download and complete the form and submit it by post.
  • Pay the correct fee. Cheques should be made payable to East Devon District Council or you can telephone us to make a payment by credit/debit card. Our online service accepts credit/debit cards.
  • Include a plan of the premises with your application.
  • If you have also applied for selling or supplying alcohol you must include a consent form (EDP300) signed by the person named as the designated premises supervisor.

A copy of your application including the plan must be submitted to the responsible authorities. We advise that you obtain proof of posting as your application will not be valid unless the responsible authorities have received a copy of your application and plan.

How to advertise your application

You must advertise your application. A notice must be displayed at the premises for 28 consecutive days from the day after you submit your application to us. If you don't do this your application will be invalid. A template notice and guidance is available.

You must also publish notice of your application in a newspaper that is circulated locally to the premises within ten working days from the day after you submit your application to us. Please make sure  you send a copy of the newspaper containing the advertisement to us as soon as it is published.

Licensing objectives

You may find it useful to look at guidance sheets GN1 and Pool of Conditions - GN6 which provide some suggested conditions you could include to help you meet the licensing objectives. These are:

  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • public safety
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • protection of children from harm

Advice on each of the licensing objectives is available from the relevant responsible authorities. Please note we can't give you advice on the content of your application. An application may be subject to representations (objections) from all or some of the responsible authorities and from any other person. For further information please see GN7.

The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only. They are not a full and authoritative statement of the law and do not constitute professional or legal advice. Any statements on these pages do not replace, extend, amend or alter in any way the statutory provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 or any subordinate legislation made under it or statutory guidance issued in relation to it. No responsibility is accepted by us for any errors, omissions or misleading statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages refer. In particular, it must be noted that, although we have made every effort to ensure that the information in these pages is correct; changes in the law and the nature of implementation mean that the information in these pages cannot be guaranteed as accurate.