TV license warning for businesses

Firms risk £1,000 fine by breaking licensing laws

Small businesses are being warned that breaking TV licensing laws this Christmas could leave them with a £1,000 fine in the New Year.

TV Licensing is advising firms that inspectors will still be working between Christmas and the New Year, a period in which employees are more likely to be watching television in working hours.

Those found to be in breach of the rules are being warned not expect any seasonal charity either, with potential penalties including a trip to court and £1,000 fine.

“Any business providing a TV or PCTV so staff can tune into Christmas specials at work must be correctly licensed,” advised Victoria Smith, TV Licensing spokesperson.

“Whether you work in an office, building site, or shop, check you’re covered before watching TV, otherwise Santa Claus may not be the only one paying you a visit over the festive season,”

The law states that any business using a TV or PCTV to receive television programme services as they are being broadcast in the UK must be correctly licensed.

One licence, which costs £131.50, covers all the TV equipment a business uses on a single site, the only exception being hotels, which have separate licensing requirements.

Firms are being reminded however that if any part of its premises is sublet to another businesses, it will require its own separate license. Furthermore, the licence does not cover any residential accommodation within the premises.

Businesses do not need a licence for their equipment if it is only being used for playing videos or closed circuit monitoring.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006

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