Applying to Sell Liquor

​​​​​​​​​​​A liquor licence is required for businesses and organisations that seek to sell liquor on a regular basis.  This includes, for example, hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants, wholesalers, bottleshops, delicatessens, tourist business operators and larger sporting clubs.  

There are five types of liquor licence:

  • General​
  • Club
  • On
  • Off
  • Special

Information for applicants

What is the difference between a licence and a permit?
​Licences are ongoing (subject to payment of the prescribed annual fee), while permits are issued for a specific period of time.  Both are authorised under the Liquor Licensing Act 1990.

A general liquor licence authorises the sale of liquor on premises between 5 am and 12 midnight daily, for consumption on or off the premises.  This licence is usually issued to hotels and taverns. ​


A club liquor licence authorises the sale of liquor on the club's premises between 5 am and 12 midnight daily, for consumption on or off the premises. This licence is usually issued to sporting or RSL clubs.
The sale of liquor under this licence is limited to:

  • a member of the club;
  • a guest of a member of the club;
  • a visitor to the club;
  • a member of another club which has a reciprocal membership arrangement with the club;
  • a competitor in an event conducted or hosted by the club on that day;
  • a spectator of an event conducted or hosted by the club on that day; or
  • a person who is attending a meeting of, or a function conducted by, an organisation which the Commissioner is satisfied is not operated for profit.

Liquor cannot be sold to other organisations/groups for resale by those groups. Entry restrictions apply to non-club members.


A special permit (Club Permit) authorises the sale of liquor on the premises of a sporting club, generally up to 15 hours per week. Club permits are issued for the sale of liquor where the primary purpose is related to the sporting activities of the Club (competition season).  Applications should be submitted at least 28 days prior to the date you wish to start selling liquor. Refer our Permits page for further information and application form.

On Licence

An on licence authorises the sale of liquor for consumption on the licensed premises between 5 am and 12 midnight daily. This licence is usually issued to some nightclubs, bars and bar/restaurants. If a licensee wishes to sell liquor for consumption off the licensed premises for specific occasions or events (such as street dining), he or she should apply for an off permit. An off permit will not be issued to authorise general liquor sales. An on licence also authorises the sale of liquor at a restaurant for consumption with or without food. If an on licence is granted for a restaurant (where the principal activity is serving food for consumption on the premises) the premises must continue to be operated as a restaurant.

Off Licence

An off licence authorises the sale of liquor between 5 am and 12 midnight daily for consumption off the licensed premises. This licence is usually issued to bottle shops as a stand alone facility or associated with a hotel.

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A special licence authorises the sale of liquor between specified times and subject to conditions specified in the licence. This licence can be issued for the sale of liquor in areas of the hospitality industry with specific limitations and restrictions such as restaurants, function centres, tertiary institutions, accommodation providers, wine producers or tourist attractions.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To transfer a liquor licence to another person approval must be sought from the Commissioner for Licensing.

A liquor licence may only be transferred to another person, and is not transferable to another premises.  If the licence is required at an alternate premises, a new liquor licence application​​ is required.

Application for approval to transfer a liquor licence to another person must be made at least 28 days before the day on which the transfer is to take effect.  A person may apply for an interim authority to act as licensee in the event that a 28 day transfer application period has not been provided.

If an attempt is made to transfer a liquor licence without the approval of the Commissioner, the licence is automatically suspended.​

 

Interim Authority to act as Licensee​

In the event that a transfer application has not been made at least 28 days before the day on which the transfer is to take effect, and the current licensee is unable or unwilling to continue meeting their obligations whilst the Commissioner considers the application, an Interim Authority to act as Licensee​ will be required.​​​

Application Forms and Guides​​​​​​​


A licensee must not allow a person to serve liquor on licensed premises unless the person -    

(a) has successfully completed an "approved course" - (RSA training course); or
(b) has been an employee of the licensee for, in aggregate, less than 3 months and is - 

(i) undertaking an approved RSA training course; or
(ii) formally enrolled in an approved RSA training course that is scheduled to start within 3 months from the day on which the person is permitted to serve the liquor. The RSA training course is to be held within 3 months of commencing employment.

Information on RSA courses can be found here.​

​​There are Resources for licence holders​ available on this site.
For information on other topics:

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