Late hours catering licence

Any person, company, partnership or other body operating a business requires a late hours catering licence for the use of premises serving food between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am for the sale to or consumption by members of the public, either on or off the premises.

We may impose conditions on the licence, including conditions fixing the days and hours of opening. Operating hours may differ for consumption on the premises and for consumption off the premises.

You will not need a late hours catering licence if you have premises licensed under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 or if you are using premises in accordance with a public entertainment licence.


In addition to obtaining a late hours catering licence, you will also need to comply with any requirements under Planning and Food Hygiene legislation and have public liability insurance for your premises. View our conditions (PDF 41.2KB) for more details.

You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.

You must not have had an application refused for the same licence within the 12 months prior to making your application, unless you have had a material change in circumstances.

The premises must be suitable for use.

Telling us about any changes

You must notify us in writing of any changes to the details of the licence. This information should be submitted, in writing, within one month of the changes taking place.

If the need for the licence becomes redundant, you should surrender the licence to us as soon as possible.

Application fee

An application fee is payable, and the cost is £218. The fee must be paid at the same time the application for the licence is lodged with us. The fee is non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

The application will not be considered competent until the fee is paid.

How to apply

To apply for a licence to be granted or renewed, complete our late hours catering application form (PDF 218KB)Please send your competed form by email to or by post to, please note physical mail is only checked once a week:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ

If you are unable to complete the form, please call us and we will assist you to apply over the telephone.

Displaying a site notice

At the same time as lodging your application for a licence, you must display the appropriate site notice (PDF 85KB), at the location from which your business is to operate, for a period of 21 days.

Thereafter, you must submit a certificate of compliance (PDF 69KB) to us, stating that the site notice was correctly displayed, or explaining why you were unable to display the site notice.

Failure to provide the necessary information and documentation, or the application fee, will result in the inability to further process the application.

Application process

Full approval will not be granted until the required information and documentation has been provided, examined and deemed satisfactory, and the application has been fully processed.

You are not permitted to operate a business as a late hours caterer, until such time as a late hours catering licence has been issued to you.

We will send a copy of your application to the Police, the Firemaster, Planning Services, Building Services, and Environmental Health (our consultees).

In the absence of objections or adverse representations, your licence will be issued to you under delegated authority.

Where objections or adverse representations are made, your application will be referred to the appropriate Committee of Aberdeenshire Council for consideration.