A document permitting its holder to do something otherwise forbidden, and usually obtainable by paying a fixed sum. Licences are a means of raising revenue and of controlling the use or abuse of certain rights. They are needed, inter alia, for driving or conducting a bus, carrying goods or passengers for money, selling wines, spirits. beer or tobacco, using a premises for dancing or singing and for hunting, shooting or fishing. Anyone in doubt as to whether or not he needs a licence should consult his local authority or the police. Conditions vary between parts of the country. Some licences are obtainable from post offices, e.g. television, C.B. radio, drivers’, export. game, hounds and vehicle licences; others from magistrates, e.g. for the sale of alcohoi; others from various other authorities. Members of the public can oppose the issue of particular licences by magistrates if they attend the court. Since the enforcement in 1978 of the licensing provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, all businesses which grant credit or are connected with the granting of credit for goods must obtain a licence from the Director of the Office of Fair Trading.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary , 3rd edt.