Club Premises Certificate, TENS & sale of drinks to non-members


Whilst there is no specific renewal date of a Club Premises Certificate it is necessary for an annual fee to be paid to the local Licensing Authority in order for the Club Premises Certificate to remain in force. Therefore, look out for any renewal invoice received from your local Licensing Authority and ensure that is to be paid promptly.

Temporary Event Notices

A Temporary Event Notice (TENS) allows Clubs to hold events which are open to the public such as open days and beer festivals or simply private events which are not held by members. Clubs are able to apply for up to 15 Temporary Event Notices per calendar year.

A member holding a private event and inviting their guests will not normally require a Temporary Event Notice to be obtained, please refer to the article on sale of drinks to non-members.

Sales of Drink to Non-Members

The subject of non-member activities within registered private members’ clubs is one which has become increasingly important, since almost all clubs now rely to a greater or lesser extent, on income generated from the sales of drink at private functions promoted by either individual members or outside organisations.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 a members’ guests introduced on a normal day-to-day basis will be permitted to purchase drinks. Such a practice has been accepted in many clubs, strictly speaking the previous rules of almost all clubs prevented such sales.Consequently, drink may be supplied lawfully to a non-member attending any event promoted by a member, provided the non-member is a bona fide guest of the member and has been properly admitted to the club in accordance with the club’s rules.

The ‘Club Premises Certificate (CPC) does not prevent such events as BBQs, funerals, and parties where an organiser hires a room for non-members’. The organiser should be a member and the persons attending therefore classed as his guests. This would be appropriate, the Licensing Act 2013 places no limit on the number of guests that a Member can sign in at any one time.

There is no legal reason why a member of a private members’ club cannot hold an event at the club and invite a large number of non-members to attend. The stipulation that they need to be signed in as guests can easily be dealt with by the organiser forwarding a list of names to the club’s Secretary prior to the event taking place or, indeed, simply signing people in as they arrive. Furthermore, the stipulation that a guest needs to be signed in to a members’ guest signing in book is typically a club rule and is not required by legislation. The relevant legislation simply states that persons in the club have to be guests of a member. Club governing bodies such as the CIU and ACC suggest that guests are signed into a signing in book just to make it very clear that the Club are operating within the law although this is actually going further than the legislation requires. The legislation simply requires that if a spot check was to be made that everyone in the club would be either members or member’s guests. A signing in book is a simple way of proving this but it is not actually referred to within the legislation and it is not legally required that guests are physically ‘signed in’.

A member could invite a large number of his friends, all of which may be non-members, to join him for his birthday party at the Club. All persons would clearly be guests of the member holding the birthday party and therefore completely acceptable under both a CPC and the Licensing Act 2003. In the Licensing Act 2003 itself, the only definition relating to guests is the following:

S70, supply of alcohol to members or guests” means, in the case of any club,—
(a) the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to, or to the order of, a member of the club, or
(b) the sale by retail of alcohol by or on behalf of the club to a guest of a member of the club for consumption on the premises where the sale takes place

The Licensing Act 2003 does not place any further restrictions on the definition of a guest. Therefore, as long as person inside the Club can be considered to be a guest of a member then they can be served alcohol under the club’s CPC.