Northern Ireland

We do not currently hold any personal licence holder courses in Northern Ireland.
The licensing laws in Northern Ireland are completely different to those of England & Wales or Scotland. Anyone from Northern Ireland looking to run a pub or licensed premises in England & Wales or Scotland can undertake training for either licensing Act. However training and examination must take place in England & Wales (Licensing Act 2003) or Scotland (Licensing Act 2005).
In Northern Ireland, alcohol may only be sold in licensed premises. Find out what the liquor licensing laws are and how to apply for one.
Liquor licences
Liquor licensing is regulated by legislation in Northern Ireland, which provides for 12 types of premises to be licensed to sell alcohol to the public. There are different conditions attached to each type of premises. The premises are:

  • pubs
  • off-licences
  • hotels
  • guest houses
  • restaurants
  • conference centres
  • higher education institutions
  • places of public entertainment (theatres, ballrooms, race tracks)
  • refreshment rooms in public transport premises (railway or bus stations, airports and harbours)
  • seamen’s canteens
  • indoor arenas
  • non-seagoing vessels
    Applying for a liquor licence
    In Northern Ireland you must apply to your local county court for a liquor licence, which may be granted for up to five years. Before a licence is granted, you will need to show that certain conditions have been met, particularly:

  • you are fit to hold a licence
  • the premises are suitable for the sale of alcohol

    You may buy an existing licence for the premises from the license holder. However, you must hand this over to the court before applying for your own license
    The court will not grant a licence to the applicant if it thinks there are already enough pubs or off-licences in the area.

  • Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service
    Registered clubs’ law
    Private member clubs who wish to supply alcohol to members and their guests are also regulated by legislation in Northern Ireland and must apply to the county court for a certificate of registration.
    Developments in licensing and clubs laws
    Proposed changes to the law regulating the sale and supply of alcohol in Northern Ireland are currently being considered. Further information on these changes are available on the Department for Social Development’s website.

  • Alcohol licencing and the registration of clubs – Department for Social Development website
    Useful Website Links
    The Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 – website
    The Registration of Clubs (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 – website
    Scottish Personal licence holder training courses