Q: I was made redundant from the catering industry during the covid pandemic. Now, along with another couple, my wife and I are thinking of buying a large property that was once a pub and refurbishing it as a boutique hotel. What kind of licences would we need to obtain?
A: The first thing to say is that there is a significant amount of regulation applicable to the hotel trade, so do seek specialist advice from a solicitor to ensure you meet all the legal requirements. You should also be aware that there is a distinct difference between ‘hotels’ and ‘private hotels’ in respect of the legislation.
Regarding licencing requirements, this will depend on what services you intend to offer. If you are preparing and serving food on the premises, you will need to register with your local authority environmental health department as a food business. If you are going to sell alcohol in England or Wales, you must obtain a premises licence from your local licencing authority, and a personal licence authorising a designated responsible person to oversee the sale of alcohol.
To play background music to your guests you will need to obtain The Music Licence from PPL or PPS Ltd, the UK’s public music licencing organisation. This is in addition to the requirement for a TV licence covering up to 15 television sets, including your own. A separate licence is needed for such as the provision of DVDs for guest use.
Further licences would apply if you were to offer the venue for wedding ceremonies or put tables and chairs outside on a pavement. And then there is data protection. Keeping computerised records of individuals, whether that be guests or staff, you will need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a data user.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider, so before making any decisions ir would be wise to seek professional advice.
This question has been answered by Sêra Henderson-Jones, a Chartered Legal Executive with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194