Selling alcohol

When can you sell alcohol in Northern Ireland?


There are certain restrictions on when alcohol can be legally sold in Northern Ireland. The rules relate to the times of the day and Christmas Day.

Alcohol licensing hours

For most licensed premises alcohol may be sold:

  • from 11:30am to 11pm (except on Sundays and Christmas Day)
  • on Christmas Day from 12:30pm to 10pm
  • on Sundays from 12:30pm to 11pm

Off-licences may sell alcohol:

  • from 8am to 11pm (except on Sundays and Christmas Day)
  • on Sundays from 10am to 10pm

Off-licences are not permitted to open at all on Christmas Day.

In Northern Ireland, Easter licensing hours are the same as the rest of the year

Extended hours

Certain licensed premises providing late night entertainment or refreshment can apply for extended hours in several ways. These include applying for an order for additional or further additional permitted hours. Other premises can apply for an extension licence. This allows you to sell alcohol after the usual licensed hours.

These extended hours allow alcohol to be sold from 11pm to 1am, or 2am with additional permitted hours.


If your business provides accommodation, alcohol licensing hours do not apply when selling alcohol to overnight guests. For example, a licensed hotel, guesthouse or inn may sell alcohol to a resident at any time.