Occasional licence to sell alcohol

You need to have an occasional licence if you intend to temporarily sell alcohol on unlicensed premises (or in some cases club premises).

Before you apply find out more about occasional licences:

View our guidance on occasional licences (PDF 163KB) for more detailed information.

Events requiring occasional licence

Generally, activities such as dances, discos, dinner dances, wedding receptions, parties where a disco or band is provided, or beer tents at a larger event such as a gala or music festival, are acceptable for granting an occasional licence. However this is not an exhaustive list.

If you are unsure whether your event requires a licence please contact us for advice.

When you should apply

You should apply as far in advance as possible, and at least 6 weeks prior to the date the licence is required.

If you submit an application 28 days or less before the date the licence is required for the Licensing Board's policy is to reject this, unless the application is for a funeral tea. 

Applications made between 4 and 6 weeks prior to the date requested are considered late applications and will be considered by the Licensing Board's convenor, who will decide whether the application should be processed or not. Late applications should be submitted with a reason for lateness to be sent to the convenor.

You should always give plenty of notice because your application must be advertised.

Application fee

The cost of occasional licence application is £10. The application fee is not refundable. You can pay by either:

  • applying online (you will be asked to make a payment at the end of the form)
  • making a telephone payment on 0300 456 0483
  • visiting the relevant service point

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

Who can apply

An application for an occasional licence must be made by:

For voluntary organisations and clubs, within a 12-month period we cannot grant more than:

  • 4 occasional licences each lasting more than 4 days
  • 12 occasional licences each lasting less than 4 days

In any period of 12-months, the total number of days on which occasional licences are issued can't be more than 56.

There are no restrictions on the number of occasional licences which may be applied for over a 12-month period by the holder of a premises licence or a personal licence.

Duration of the licence

14 days is the maximum duration for an occasional licence.

If the licence is requested for more than 1 day, we may decide that this is not an 'occasion' at all.

What to include in your application

Your application must include:

You will need to provide information about five licensing objectives relating to each event to prove that you comply with them:

  • Preventing crime and disorder
  • Securing public safety
  • Preventing public nuisance
  • Protecting and improving public health
  • Protecting children from harm

The more information you provide will help us decide whether your application can be granted quickly, or whether your case will have to wait until the next meeting of the Licensing Board.

How to apply

You can apply for an occasional licence online. Please note that you will have to sign in with myAberdeenshire to access the form. You will be able save it and resume later at any stage before submitting it. To access your saved applications login to myAberdeenshire and go to your submissions.

Apply for an occasional licence

Alternatively you can apply by completing the occasional licence application form (PDF 140KB) and emailing your completed application form to

Application process

You cannot assume the licence is granted until you hear from us. It can take up to 42 days to process your application.

Once we have received your application, we will consult with Police Scotland and Licensing Standards Officer. If there are no objections or representations, and the application is within the Board's policy, the application can be granted under delegated powers. This means that the decision to grant the licence is made by the clerk, rather than wait for the next Licensing Board meeting.

We will also publicly advertise the licence for 1 week to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations.

If we receive an objection or representation, or if the application is outside the Board's policy, the application must be referred to a hearing of the Licensing Board that may grant or refuse the licence. We will notify you about the hearing and you will be able to make representations in favour of your application.

It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

Refused applications

Your application may be refused on the following basis:

  • the premises in the application are excluded premises
  • there are no exceptional circumstances for allowing the sale of alcohol over a 24-hour period or if the application requests the sale of alcohol off the premises before 10am, after 10pm or both
  • the application doesn't meet one or more of the licensing objectives
  • considering the nature of the proposed activities, the location, character and condition of the premises and the types of people likely to visit the premises are not suitable for selling alcohol

If your application is rejected you have a right to appeal.