Late Hours Catering Licence (Scotland)

Late hours catering licences are governed by the provisions of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.  Section 42 of the Act provides that a late hours catering licence is required for the use of premises between 11pm and 5am for the sale to or consumption by the public of food.  

A licence is required whether or not the food is consumed on or off the premises. This means that a licence is required for takeaways and supermarkets as well as restaurants and caf├ęs selling food during these hours.

The licensing authority has the power to specify different days and hours during which food can be consumed on the premises from those during which food can be consumed off the premises.

Premises licensed to sell alcohol in terms of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and used as such do not require a late hours catering licence whilst they are operating within their alcohol licensing hours.  However, if they wish to undertake late hours catering outwith these hours a late hours catering licence would be required.

Read our Guidance Notes (pdf) which gives information about exemptions, the Certificate of Display and advice on how to complete the Application Form.

Application Form (PDF) Application Form (Word)

Renewal of a licence

Please note it is the licence holders responsibility to be aware of the expiration date of their licence and make a full renewal application a minimum of 30 days before their existing licence expires. Failure to apply in a timely manner could result in requiring a new grant application which may be a higher cost to the applicant.

Effect of Start and End of British Summer Time on Licensable Hours

When the clocks go forward to mark the beginning of British Summer Time and when they go back to mark the end of British Summer Time, late hours catering
licence-holders enjoying hours beyond 1am are permitted to open for the sale of food by reference to the number of hours after midnight their licence authorises them to do so, rather than by the actual time shown on the clock.

or example, a late hours catering premises selling food until 1.30am, would be permitted to open for the sale of food for 1 hour and 30 minutes after midnight GMT regardless of the time stated on the clock after the clocks go forward/back.  Similarly, a late hours catering premises selling food until 2 am, would be permitted to open for the sale of food for 2 hours after midnight GMT, regardless of the time stated on the clock after the clocks go forward/ back. 

Late hours catering premises which close at 1am or earlier, and those licensed to sell food for 24 hours such as all-night supermarkets, are unlikely to be affected by the start of BST. 

If licence holders are in any doubt as to their obligations, they should contact the licensing department.

Eligibility Criteria

If the application is for providing catering that will be mainly or wholly on the premises you must display a public notice detailing your application, in a public place at or near the premises for 21 days from the date the application is submitted. The notice must contain details relating to the application, detail where objections and representations can be made and how the objections and representations can be made. If you are required to place a notice you must supply the licensing authority with a certificate confirming you have complied with the requirement.


Applications must be made in writing (including by electronic means) and signed by you or your agent (including by electronic means).
We will send a copy of the application to the local chief constable and to the appropriate relevant authority (or where applicable the enforcing authority under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005).

The enforcing or relevant authority may be the Health & Safety Executive, the fire service or the local authority.

We will give notice to the public in local newspapers of every application.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from The Moray Council by the end of the target completion period.


We will charge a fee that you will pay online to process your application. To minimise our costs, we will pass on a 1.80% charge on the value of all payments made by credit card.

Apply Online

Apply online or submit a Certificate of Compliance by using the links in the Online Services box below

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