Liquor Licensing

Liquor licensing applications under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 are considered by the Highland Licensing Board.


The Highland Licensing Board Policy Statement 2013-16 may be accessed here.


Personal Licence Holders who have held their licence for 5 years MUST undergo refresher training to ensure they retain their licence - and the authority to sell alcohol on their premises.  Further details can be found by clicking here.

Personal Licence Holders may notify the Licensing Board that they have completed their "Refresher" Training required under Section 87 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 by completing and returning the above form which may be accessed here.  


There is a new online search facility for liquor licensing. Click here to access it.


The Board has recently agreed a new Equality Strategy in terms  of the Equality Act 2010 and welcomes comments from all interested parties which should be addressed to the Clerk.


The Board has agreed the following new Publication Scheme in line with the Scottish Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme:-


Gambling Act 2005 -  Policy Statement 2013-16

The Licensing Board's Gambling Policy Statement 2013-16 can be accessed here.

Gambling information includes betting offices, gaming machines and any form of local gambling including small lotteries.

Small Society Lotteries

Small societies wishing to promote lotteries must register with the local authority as a small society lottery.  This may also apply to anyone thinking of promoting lotteries such as raffles, tombola and prize draws.

Civic Government Licensing

*New* Public Entertainment Licensing - Consultation in relation to amendment to Licence Activities 

The closing date for this consultation has been extended to 21st March 2014. At this this stage the amendments to the list of licence categories are only proposals and the purpose of the consultation is to receive feedback and comments.

The Highland Licensing Committee will be invited to consider all responses received before taking any decision as to whether the activities detailed in the consultation require to be licensed.

Before deciding whether or not to license any additional activities the Council would wish to re-assure outdoor sport and activity providers that the Highland Licensing Committee will take into account the extent to which they are already regulated by other authorities or bodies.

The recommendation to the Committee would be that if such activities were already adequately regulated then there would appear to be little justification in imposing the additional requirement of a public entertainment licence.

The Highland Licensing Committee has agreed to carry out a consultation in relation to the activities which it licences as Public Entertainment under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.  Details of the "current" activities, together with a list of "proposed" amendments (which are highlighted in bold italics) may be accessed here.

A short questionnaire in relation to the Public Entertainment Licence Category Review may be accessed here.

The Committee welcomes comments from all interested parties by Friday, 21 March 2014. These should be sent to the Licensing Section, Chief Executive's Service, Town House, Inverness, IV1 1JJ or emailed to


Licences are issued and enforced by the Highland Licensing Committee for a wide range of functions listed below.

The functions that require a licence include:  Boat Hire Application / Itinerant Metal Dealers Application / Late Hours Catering Application/ Market Operators Application / Metal Dealers / Private Hire Car Driver / Private Hire Car Operator / Public Entertainment / Second Hand Dealers / Second Hand Vehicle Dealer / Street Trader / Sex Shop / Skin Piercing and Tattooing / Substitute Vehicle / Sun Tanning  / Taxi Driver / Taxi Exemption from Guide Dogs / Taxi Operator / Window Cleaner.

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 makes provision for the licensing and regulation of certain activities. 

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

From 31st August 2011 the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) falls under  Part 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006. An HMO is defined as living  accommodation in which 3 or more unrelated adults live and share one or more of the basic amenities which are a toilet ,personal washing facilities and facilities for the preparation or provision of cooked food. It must be their only or main residence. The legislation covers not only ordinary houses, flats and bedsits but also other types of residential accommodation including hostel, student halls of residence and staff accommodation in hotels and hospitals.

Civil Marriage Approvals

A Civil Marriage Approval is required if you wish to offer marriages or civil ceremonies at your premises.

Applications may be made for permanent or temporary approvals.
Hotels, country houses etc can apply for a period approval which, if granted, lasts for 3 years. Couples can apply for temporary approval at a place of their choice. 

Miscellaneous Licensing

This includes information on Licences provided by Environmental Health and Trading Standards.