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 times of the day and Christmas Day.

Alcohol licensing hours

For most licensed premises alcohol may be sold:

  • from 11:30 to 23:00 (except on Sundays and Christmas Day)
  • on Christmas Day from 12:30 to 22:00
  • on Sundays from 12:30 to 23:00

Off-licences may sell alcohol:

  • from 08:00 to 23:00 (except on Sundays and Christmas Day)
  • on Sundays from 10:00 to 22:00

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

Easter licensing hours in Northern Ireland are now the same as the rest of the year

Extended hours

There are a number of ways certain licensed premises providing late night entertainment or refreshment can apply for extended hours. 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 23:00 to 01:00, or 02:00 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.