View updates on coronavirus (COVID-19) and council services. A postcode checker has been launched to make it easy to find out what the COVID protection level is where you live. If you are affected and need assistance, please visit Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub.
Occasional licence to sell alcohol
Please note that at the moment, council offices are closed and officers are working from home due to coronavirus. There may be a delay in processing your application if you send it in paper format and so we would encourage you to apply online wherever possible as this will reach the team much quicker. Find out more about changes to licensing services.
You need to have an occasional licence if you intend to temporarily sell alcohol on unlicensed premises (or in some cases club premises).
Before you apply find out more about occasional licences:
- Events requiring occasional licence
- When you should apply
- Application fee
- Who can apply
- Duration of the licence
- What to include in your application
- How to apply
- Application process
- Contact us
View our guidance on occasional licences (pdf 163KB) for more detailed information.
Generally, activities such as dances, discos, dinner dances, wedding receptions, parties where a disco or band is provided, or beer tents at a larger event such as a gala or music festival, are acceptable for granting an occasional licence. However this is not an exhaustive list.
If you are unsure whether your event requires a licence please contact us for advice.
You should apply giving as much time as possible, and at least 6 weeks prior to the date the licence is required.
If you submit your application 4 weeks or less before to the date requested, unless the application is for a funeral tea it is the three boards’ policy to reject it. Applications made between 4 and 6 weeks prior to the date requested are likely to be classed as 'late applications'. This will mean that future late applications might be rejected.
You should always give plenty of notice because your application must be advertised.
The cost of occasional licence application is £10. Cheques should be made payable to 'Aberdeenshire Council'. The application fee is not refundable. You can also pay by visiting the relevant service point. Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs.’
An application for an occasional licence must be made by:
- the holder of a premises licence
- the holder of a personal licence
- the representative of a voluntary organisation or a club
For voluntary organisations and clubs, within a 12 month period we cannot grant more than:
- 4 occasional licences each lasting more than 4 days
- 12 occasional licences each lasting less than 4 days
In any period of 12 months, the total number of days on which occasional licences are issued can't be more than 56.
There are no restrictions on the number of occasional licences which may be applied for over a 12 month period by the holder of a premises licence or a personal licence.
14 days is the maximum duration for an occasional licence.
If the licence is requested for more than 1 day, we may decide that this is not an 'occasion' at all.
Your application must include:
You will need to provide information about five licensing objectives relating to each event to prove that you comply with them:
- Preventing crime and disorder
- Securing public safety
- Preventing public nuisance
- Protecting and improving public health
- Protecting children from harm
The more information you provide will help us decide whether your application can be granted quickly, or whether your case will have to wait until the next meeting of the local Licensing Board.
You can apply for an occasional licence online. Please note that you will have to sign in with myAberdeenshire to access the form. You will be able save it and resume later at any stage before submitting your application.
Alternatively you can apply in paper by completing the occasional licence application form (pdf 140KB) and sending it to:
Legal and Governance
You cannot assume the licence is granted until you hear from us. It can take up to 42 days to process your application.
Once we have received your application, we will consult with Police Scotland and Licensing Standards Officer. If there is no objections or representations, and the application is within the Board's policy, the application can be granted under delegated powers. This means that the decision to grant the licence is made by the clerk, rather than wait for the next local Licensing Board meeting.
We will also publicly advertise the licence for 1 week to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations.
If we receive a objection or representation, or if the application is outside the Board's policy, the application must be referred to a hearing of the Licensing Board that may grant or refuse the licence. We will notify you about the hearing and you will be able to make representations in favour of your application.
It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.
Your application may be refused on the following basis:
- the premises in the application are excluded premises
- there are no exceptional circumstances for allowing the sale of alcohol over a 24 hour period or if the application requests the sale of alcohol off the premises before 10.00am, after 10.00pm or both
- the application doesn't meet one or more of the licensing objectives
- considering the nature of the proposed activities, the location, character and condition of the premises and the types of people likely to visit the premises are not suitable for selling alcohol
If your application is rejected you have a right to appeal.