Provisional premises licence

You can apply for a provisional premises licence for premises that, at the time of making the application, are yet to be, or are in the course of being, constructed or converted for use as licensed premises. Premises that are granted a provisional premises licence cannot be used for the sale of alcohol until such time as the work to the premises has been completed, and the licence holder has been “confirmed” by the Licensing Board.


There are 2 fees for this licence:

  • Your initial application fee is £200 (if your application is refused the fee is not refunded or reduced),
  • When you later apply for confirmation (which must be granted before you start trading), you pay a fee based on the rateable value of the premises minus the initial fee you have already paid (at that time, the fee is related to your rateable value)

View our licensing board fees (PDF 43KB).

You can pay by either:

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

How to apply

View guidance on premises licence before you apply. These notes explain how to complete the application form and the policies and legislation surrounding this licence. We strongly recommend you obtain independent legal advice before applying.

To apply complete provisional licence application form (PDF 257KB)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 forms, please call us and we will assist you to apply over the telephone.

Your application must also include:

You cannot trade until your provisional licence is confirmed. It is not enough to have a Licensing Board decision granting the provisional licence initially. Find out how to confirm your provisional licence.

Application process

Once we’ve accepted your application will be considered at a scheduled Board meeting. View Aberdeenshire Licensing Board meeting dates.

We will consult with Police Scotland, the Health Board, the Community Council and council departments, and notify neighbours within 4 metres of the proposed premises. Your application will also be advertised for 21 days to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations.

Confirm your provisional premises licence

Your provisional premises licence will not come into effect until it is confirmed. Confirmation only affects the alcohol licence. You might need other consents, such as planning Permission, or a completion certificate or temporary occupation certificate as well.

A provisional licence lasts 4 years. If there is no decision to confirm in that time, the provisional licence will lapse. The original decision to grant the provisional licence is made by the Board after a hearing, but the later decision to confirm the provisional licence is usually made by the Clerk to the Board in conjunction with the Convenor of the Board, without a hearing.

The Clerk can only make a confirmation decision if either:

  • no differences between the proposals initially approved by the Board and the final state of the premises
  • any differences are only 'Minor Variations'

'Minor' has a limited meaning set by the legislation, so a change which might be called 'minor' in ordinary conversation might not be classed as a 'Minor Variation'. If the change is not a 'Minor Variation', the decision to confirm can only be taken by the Board. This means that the opening of your premises will be delayed until after the next Board meeting. Contact us to find out more.

You can ask the Board for an extension of the 4-year period, but that application must be lodged in time for a Board meeting before the 4 years expire.

Premises licence confirmation fee

The fee for premises licence confirmation depends on category of the premise. It is based on the rateable value of the premise less £200 initial fee that is paid when submitting the provisional licence application.

Category 1 premises fee is £200 for:

  • premises rated at nil or not shown in the valuation roll
  • visitor attractions
  • clubs
  • private accommodation

Category 2 premises fee is £800 for rateable value between £1 and £11,500.

Category 3 premises fee is £1,100 for rateable value between £11,501 and £35,000.

Category 4 premises fee is £1,300 for rateable value between £35,001 and £70,000.

Category 5 premises fee is £1,700 for rateable value between £70,001 and £140,000.

Category 6 premises fee is £2000 for rateable value over £140,000.

Apply for premises licence confirmation

To be able to progress your submission you will be required to provide the following documents with your application:

  • Planning certificate
  • Building standards certificate
  • Food hygiene certificate
  • Personal licence of the proposed premises manager

Fill in our Confirmation of Premises Licence Form (PDF 201KB). Please send your completed submission to:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ