Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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Licensing to sell alcohol is regulated by legislation in Northern Ireland

There are different types of premises that can be licensed to sell alcohol to the public and there are different conditions attached to each type of premises.

Hotels, Guest Houses and Conference Centres can be licensed for the retail sale of alcohol. Applicants must apply to the courts for a liquor licence and demonstrate that certain conditions have been met, in particular that:

  • the licence holder is fit to hold a licence and
  • the premises are suitable for the sale of alcohol

In addition to the above requirements Hotels, Guest Houses and Conference Centres are also required to obtain a certificate/licensing letter from Tourism NI in order to obtain a liquor licence. Existing certified tourist accommodation premises should speak to their Tourism NI Quality & Standards Officer about obtaining a licence. New premises must make an application to Tourism NI.

Conference Centres must meet specific requirements in order to obtain a licensing letter from Tourism NI for the purposes of securing a licence for the sale by retail of alcohol – see Alcohol Licensing for Conference Centres for more information.

More Information
For more information for Hotels, Guest Houses wanting to obtain a liquor licence please contact Tourism NI's Quality and Standards Unit:
Tel: 028 9044 1545 / 1686
Email: qa@tourismni.com

See Alcohol Licensing for Conference Centres for more detailed information on the process for obtaining a liquor licence for a Conference Centre.

Selling alcohol in licensed premised and registered clubs from NI Direct website
For other premises wishing to obtain or renew a liquor licence, including restaurants and pubs, please contact your solicitor.
Hospitality Ulster (the professional body of the Retail Licensed Trade in Northern Ireland) produces a comprehensive Licensing Law Guide and can be contacted on:
Tel: 028 9032 7578
Email: enquiries@hospitalityulster.org


Alcohol Licensing for Conference Centres

In order to obtain a licensing letter from Tourism NI for the purposes of securing a licence for the sale by retail of alcohol Conference Centre operators are required to submit the following documentation to Tourism NI:

  • A letter detailing the premises to be inspected and your intention to apply for a liquor licence.
  • Fee for £500 payable to Tourism NI.
  • Copy of full Planning Approval for the Conference Centre from the relevant Divisional Planning Authority.
  • Confirmation that you have completed a Fire Risk Assessment.
  • Copy of current clearance letters from the Environmental Health Department where the Conference Centre is located covering the relevant Health and Safety at Work Legislation and Food Hygiene Legislation.
  • Copy of coloured hatched Licensed Plans (to be served on Tourism NI by your solicitor together with the copy of the Notice of Application to the Court).

Once Tourism NI’s Quality and Standards Unit has received all of the above information a Quality and Standards Officer will contact you to arrange a visit to carry out an inspection. If the Conference Centre meets the following requirements Tourism NI will issue a letter confirming that the premises meets the definition of a Conference Centre contained in Article 2 (2) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.