Liquor Licensing
Liquor Licensing

If you are in the business of selling alcohol, chances are that you will need a liquor licence. We can help you determine which licence is right for your circumstances and assist you with the application and approval process. We provide tailored advice for those seeking or managing liquor licenses, including:

  • Advice on restaurant, catering, and nightclub liquor licensing law
  • Advice on handling offences under the Liquor Act
  • Advice on managing the risks involved in being a licensee, including occupational health and safety concerns, public liability concerns and what to expect from workers compensation claims
  • Help with legislation on Responsible Service of Alcohol

Small Bar Licence

If you operate a bar with a limit of 120 patrons, a small bar licence might be right for your business. However, this licence is not appropriate if you conduct any form of betting or gambling activities.

This type of licence allows alcohol to be sold during certain hours, depending on your development consent, and you can provide entertainment.

Micro-breweries and Distilleries

If you are a small-scale producer of beer, cider, or spirits, you may require a special authorisation if you intend to allow drinking on your premises. Other conditions, including capacity limits and availability of food also apply.

On-premises Licence

An on-premises licence is required if you sell alcohol for consumption with another service or product, such as food or accommodation. This type of licence is generally appropriate for hotels, restaurants, and certain venues.

BYO Restaurant

If you operate a restaurant and allow patrons to bring their own drinks, you do not need a liquor licence. However, you will still need to ensure that you have appropriate development approvals from the local council to make the consumption of alcohol on your premises legal. You must also ensure that you observe other laws and responsibilities designed to minimise liquor abuse.

Club Licence

Registered clubs are allowed to sell alcohol to members and guests both on and off premises where they hold an appropriate licence. If a club also wishes to operate gaming machines, this needs to be sought under a separate approval.

Hotel Licence

If your main business is selling alcohol to the public (either for consumption on premises or for takeaway), and you have gaming machines (subject to separate approval), and/or sell alcohol at functions off premises (subject to separate approval), the appropriate licence might be a hotel licence. These types of licences generally apply to pubs, large bars, or hotels with accommodation.

Packaged Liquor Licence

If you operate a bottle shop, a retail premises selling alcohol of over 240 square metres, or an online or mail order business, a packaged liquor licence is required.

Exemptions and other licences

There are some businesses which are exempt from holding a licence to be able to serve alcohol, such as on aircrafts and in retirement villages. There are also a number of licences that are appropriate for other businesses as well as for one-off events and pop-up bars.

Compliance and Conditions

Holders of a liquor licence are responsible for ensuring they understand and comply with the legislative requirements under the relevant liquor laws as well as a range of other laws that may be applicable to their licence type. Appropriate strategies must be in place to mitigate occupational health and safety and public liability risks that are inherent within the industry.

A licence is a valuable commodity to businesses operating in the hospitality and entertainment industry, and licence holders must be vigilant in their operations. Facing an offence under liquor licensing laws can cause significant disruption and financial implications for your business.

Our liquor licensing team can assist in identifying and applying for the appropriate liquor licence for your entity, advise on the relevant laws and compliance requirements, provide guidance to minimise risk, and assist in responding to offences under licensing laws and regulations.

If you need assistance, contact us at [email protected] or call 02 6964 9343 for expert legal advice.