Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

Personal licence to sell alcohol

You or a member of your staff must hold a personal licence if you sell alcohol from licensed premises, so that every sale or supply of alcohol is authorised by a Personal Licence holder.

Do I need a licence?

If you sell or supply alcohol or supervise the selling or supplying of alcohol you will require a Personal Licence.

You don't need a personal licence to be employed in a pub or business that sells alcohol.

Premises licensed to sell alcohol must have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), who holds a personal licence. Anyone who does not hold a Personal Licence must be authorised to sell alcohol by a Personal Licence holder.

There is no such requirement for the supply of alcohol in a members’ club.


The single exception is a community premises that has successfully applied to dis-apply the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) requirement under section 41D of the Licensing Act 2003.


You must be 18 years or older and hold a licensing qualification – for example the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2.

The aim of the qualification is to ensure that licence holders are aware of licensing law and the wider social responsibilities involved in the sale of alcohol.

We'll need to know of any relevant criminal convictions, and these may impact on whether or not you're found to be suitable as a licensee. You'll also need to provide a basic criminal conviction disclosure form.

How to apply

To apply:

  1. Applications forms must completed and sent to us.
  2. They must be in a specific format and be accompanied by the required fee of £37. The following items must accompany the application:

Download a Personal licence to sell alcohol form from GOV​.UK

After completing the form: 

  • Send completed forms to
  • Post it to Rochdale Borough Council Licensing, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU; or  
  • Bring it in to the Licensing Unit (see contact section for address and opening hours).


Please contact Rochdale Borough Council in the first instance (see contact section for how to get in touch).

If you disagree with the licensing committee's decision, you can appeal to your local magistrates' court. You must do this within 21 days.

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £20,000 or sent to prison for up to 6 months for selling alcohol without a Personal Licence, or both.


01706 924114

Licensing counter drop-in sessions, Number One Riverside​

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9am-11am and 2pm-4pm

Friday ​9am-11am

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU