Deadline approaches for liquor licence
Owners of all types of licenced premises must take action now to renew their liquor licences ahead of the September deadline, a legal expert on liquor licensing has said.
Cathy Colton, partner at Belfast law firm Carson McDowell, said most licence holders in Northern Ireland are aware that their licence is due for renewal in six months.
But she said she was concerned that many have not yet started to put the necessary measures in place for a successful renewal.
Renewals occur once every five years and the deadline will impact every licenced premises in Northern Ireland, including pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs.
Ms Colton said: "Now is the time that licence holders should be getting ready for renewals by seeking advice on what the court requires at the renewal date.
"This is particularly important if any alterations, however minor, have been carried out on the premises since the last renewal in 2012."
She continued: "Whatever type of venue you have, if you sell alcohol you need to ensure that your house is in order.
"Renewals are coming and our advice is, don't rest on your laurels, get started on it now.
"The process can take up to four months with only a few court dates set aside to deal with these applications.
"With courts closing at the end of June we are recommending that anyone with alterations needs to seek approval prior to this date," she added.