If you plan to open up your very own bar, restaurant or pub, it’s important to ask yourself whether you will be selling any alcoholic beverages to your customers. If the answer is yes, you’ll need to look into a Liquor Licence

A Liquor Licence regulates the service of alcohol, so you need to make sure you follow the relevant process and apply for the correct liquor licence for your business. 

Types Of Liquor Licences

There are different types of liquor licences, so it’s worth taking a look through all the options and choosing the most suitable one for your business. For example, some of the following are types of liquor licences you could choose from:

  • General bar
  • Small bar
  • Packaged
  • Wholesaler
  • Club
  • Limited licence – single function

Small Bar Licence

Let’s say you’ve opened up a bar – it’s nice and simple, so you don’t have anything too fancy like gaming machines. You want this to be a go-to local bar. 

Some of the features would include:

  • Allowing under 18s on the premises before a certain time
  • Allowing alcohol to be consumed on the premises
  • Not allowing takeaway orders for alcohol

If this sounds like your business, you’d want to apply for a Small Bar Licence, as this is suitable for smaller bars that hold a maximum of 120 people. If you expect to have more than 120 people, you might want to look at a General Bar Licence

It’s also possible for you to apply for more than one liquor licence type, and apply for some exemptions. This way, it’s easier for you to adjust your licence to your business’ individual needs and tailor it to your business activities. 

You can use this Licence Selector Tool to help you get a better idea of which licence would be ideal for your business. 

Do Liquor Licence Laws Differ From State To State?

Rules around the sale of alcohol differ across states, so you need to make sure you’re looking at the right set of laws. 

For example, if you’re based in Victoria, you’d need to look at the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission

Are There Any Exceptions To A Liquor Licence?

There are some cases where you may not need to apply for a liquor licence. For example, if your business is a:

  • Bed and breakfast establishment
  • Retirement village 
  • Cruise vessel
  • Aircraft
  • Hospital
  • Nursing home
  • Auction

If you are a BYO restaurant, the Liquor Act 2007 says you don’t need to apply for a liquor licence. However, you still need to comply with certain rules and obtain approval from your local council (this applies to NSW businesses). 

For example, you cannot serve alcohol to a minor in a BYO restaurant. 

Who Can Help Me Apply For A Liquor Licence?

When you apply for a liquor licence, it’s crucial that you don’t leave out important details about your business. You also want to make sure you apply for the right type of licence. 

Remember that your application details could open up some exemptions or opportunities for adjustment, so you want to complete the process correctly. 

It’s a good idea to get a lawyer to help you out here. At Sprintlaw, our Liquor Licence package includes:

  • An application for a National Police Certificate
  • A Liquor Licence application
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer who can advise you on the legal issues that apply to your business and documents

What Now?

When it comes to any business, complying with the relevant laws is always a top priority. If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

About Sprintlaw

Sprintlaw is a new type of law firm that operates completely online and on a fixed-fee basis. We’re on a mission to make quality legal services faster, simpler and more affordable for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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