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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.

How much does a personal licence cost?

An application for a personal licence costs £37.

Your application must also include supporting items which you may have to pay for, if you've not got them already.


The only 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 over 18 years old 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

  1. Download and complete the application form from the link below.
  2. Send your completed application form to us using the details on this page.
  3. When you send your form to us, if you'd like to, you can include the application fee of £37. If you don't include the fee, we will call you to take the payment over the phone. 
  4. The following supporting items must also be included in your application, they can't be sent separately or at a later date:

Download and complete a personal licence application form

Find out how we use your personal information in our privacy notice.

After completing the form: 

Please send your completed form to us:

  • By email - 
  • In the post - Rochdale Borough Council Licensing, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU


If your application for a personal licence is declined, please contact us in the first instance using the contact details on this page.

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 could be fined up to £20,000 and sent to prison for up to 6 months if you sell alcohol without yourself or a member of your staff having a personal licence.


Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Licensing office opening times

You can collect your licences, plates and badges from the office on:

  • Tuesdays, 9.30am-11.30am
  • Thursdays, 2pm-4pm