Transferring a licence

If you wish to transfer a licence to another legal entity, you will need to complete the same application form and meet the same criteria as you would for a new licence application in the name of the transferee.

A transfer may relate to the whole or any part of the licence and may be requested by the existing licensee.

Authority consent for a transfer

When deciding whether to give consent to a requested transfer, we are obliged to apply the same criteria as for a new licence application. Please see our Guidance for gas and electricity licence applications for further information.

This means in the case of a whole-licence transfer, we will apply the same criteria as we would were we to consider granting a corresponding licence to the transferee. In the case of a partial transfer we will apply the same criteria as we would were we to consider granting:

  • the transferee a licence corresponding to so much of the licence as is proposed to be transferred
  • the transferor a licence corresponding to so much of the licence as is being retained.

Those seeking a transfer must, therefore, provide all the information required by the application regulations and satisfy the same criteria.

Differences between the process for new licences and licence transfers

The three main differences between the transfer of a licence and a new licence application are:

  • no application fee is payable for licence transfer applications
  • there is no requirement on the applicants to publish a notice of application for a licence transfer
  • we are required to publish a notice (for at least two months) proposing to give our consent to a transfer.

Most transfers are the result of mergers and acquisitions, or company restructuring. A licence must be transferred if, because of the merger, acquisition or restructuring, the legal entity that is proposed to be carrying on the licensable activity is not the same legal entity to which the licence was granted.

Licences are granted to a legal entity and cannot be bought or sold separate to that legal entity. Therefore, if the licensee wishes to move their licence to a different company, consent for transfer or a new licence is required.

When transferring a licence, if the new licensee intends to commence the licensable activity shortly after our consent is granted we will ask them to demonstrate that arrangements to accede to relevant codes by the proposed transfer date are in place.