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Internet cafe: Licences


You must make sure that all of the software installed on your computers or served via the 'cloud' is correctly licensed for the use you will put it to. Contact the publishers or distributors of the software for their licensing terms and, if you intend to offer gaming on a commercial basis, you can get more information on what can be a complex issue from the iGames LAN Centers website.

All food-serving cafés must register with the local authority environmental health department.

Serving alcohol

If you're intending to serve alcohol you will need:

  • in England and Wales - a premises licence from your local licensing authority covering the sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the supply of hot food between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.00am ('late night refreshment', although in some cases late night refreshment may be exempt from the licensing requirement). You can read more about alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment licensing in England and Wales on the Gov.uk website
  • in England and Wales - a personal licence from your local licensing authority authorising a designated responsible person (for example yourself, or a manager) to oversee the above activities if applicable
  • in Northern Ireland - an alcohol licence from the county court. You can read more about alcohol licensing in Northern Ireland on the NI Direct website
  • in Scotland - a personal and premises licence from the local licensing authority. You can read more about alcohol licensing in Scotland on the Scottish Government website

Additional licensing requirements

You may also need:

  • a Music Licence from PPL PRS Ltd. There is an annual fee for this which you can pay online on the PPL PRS website
  • if you use CCTV you may be required to register as a data user with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
  • if you plan to have some tables outside on the pavement you may need to obtain clearance from your local authority highways department