What You Need to Consider When Applying for a Liquor Licence

Jeremy Streten, Director at SMS Law looks into the key considerations when applying for a liquor license, as the rules and regulations relating to liquor licensing vary from state to state, while appearing simpler than they actually are.


Are you starting a business that will sell alcohol? Are you unsure of what to do through the process? What do you need to know? Each State within Australia has different rules and regulations relating to liquor licensing. To be able to sell liquor you need to obtain approval from the local state authority. Different States also have different rules about what can be sold and when.


Key considerations when applying for a liquor licence

This article will not cover every consideration but the main items that should be considered:

  • What type of licence is necessary. Each State has a variety of different liquor licences that you can apply for, you need to identify which one is right for you and your business.
  • Start with what you are trying to achieve with the business you are going into, knowing this will take you a long way to understanding the type of licence you need.
  • Will you be selling interstate? If you will be then it is likely that you will need to have multiple licences in each State.
  • What is your personal history? Many laws prohibit people who have a criminal history from holding a liquor licence, so you will need to address that if you have such a history.
  • What will the affect be on the local community? Depending on the type of business you may have to provide a statement on the impact to the community of the business that will sell liquor.
  • Are there special rules that affect the area where you are setting up the business? Past events may lead to rules and regulations surrounding opening times and times that you can sell certain types of liquor. It is important to understand the implications that these may have on your ability to make money in your business.
  • How long will the application take to be approved? Especially where it is your first application applications can take 4 to 6 months to assess. You need to factor this into your business plans as it may change when you need to open your business.

Often these applications may seem simple and easy to do, however they are not. There are many intricate laws and regulations that need to be navigated when setting up a business that will sell liquor. It is an area that you should definitely not just get advice from a friend who has done it before. You need to get advice from a professional who has done this work before. Understanding what you need to do and when you need to do it, before you start your business is an area that you need to consider as part of your business planning.

Jeremy Streten is a lawyer and the author of the amazon best seller “The Business Legal Lifecycle,” which is designed to help business owners understand what they are doing in their business from a legal perspective and give them a plan for the future. Connect with Jeremy via email or LinkedIn