Occasional alcohol licences

If you wish to sell alcohol in a place that does not have a premises licence then you must apply for an occasional licence. You must be one of the following:

  • the holder of a premises licence
  • the holder of a personal licence
  • a representative of a voluntary organisation

Voluntary organisations are subject to quotas. We cannot issue more than 4 licences lasting more than 4 days and no more than 12 licences lasting less than 4 days in any 12 month period to a voluntary organisation. The total number of days cannot exceed 56 days.

What you have to do

Download and complete the application form below and return with the fee of £10.00

You must answer all the questions on the form and lodge it at least 42 days before the event. If the application includes an outdoor area, you must send us a layout plan showing the area to be licensed with the application.

What we will do

We will send a copy of your application to the police and the licensing standards officer. We will also inform some East Lothian Council officers. We will put a notice of your application on East Lothian Council's website for 7 days. All current applications are shown below.

The police and licensing standards officer have 21 days to let us know if they think that your applications should be granted or refused or whether some conditions should be imposed.

Any person can object to an occasional licence application or make representations during the 7 days from the day when details are published on the web site. If there is a notice of objection/representation, we will send you a copy of the notice. If there is an objection there will be a hearing of the Licensing Board and you will be asked to attend. If no notice or objection/representation is received, then the licence will be granted.


Every occasional licence is subject to standard conditions and the Board may also impose other conditions specific to your event.

Download Occasional Licence application form

Download Mandatory Conditions

Download Guidance

Repeat Occasional Licence Applications

Repeated applications for Occasional Licences for the same premises and which are: -

  • not for specific events; and/or
  • for activities that have been occurring (either in identical or largely similar terms) on the premises regularly over a period of at least 3 months will not generally be considered suitable for the grant of an Occasional Licence and will not be granted by the Board under delegated authority but will require a hearing before the Board. It is largely expected, that the premises in question should consider an application for a Premises Licence.

The scrutiny given to an application for a Premises Licence is not available where premises operate under a series of consecutive Occasional Licences. In the interests of securing public safety, and/or, for protecting and improving public health, the Board, considers that it is not appropriate for a premises to operate on a series of consecutive Occasional Licences, rather than apply for a Premises Licence. The Board will require an applicant to explain at a Hearing why an application for a Premises Licence is not being made unless the Clerk of the Board is satisfied that there are good reasons that prevent such an application that are not within the control of the applicant. 


You are unable to apply for an occasional licence if it is a Change to your Premises Licence, you are required to apply for a major variation.

If you intend to change the Layout Plan and/or Operating Plan of your Premises Licence, you are required to submit an application for a Major Variation of a Premises Licence along with amended Layout and Operating Plans and the appropriate fee.  You can download the application form here  Major Variation.doc