Glass Malt

How to Apply for a Liquor Licence in Australia

If you’re about to open a bar, restaurant or other venue that will be serving alcohol, you’ll probably know that you’ll need a liquor licence. You don’t want to land in hot water for serving cold beers! But how do you apply for the right licence? This really depends on the location and the type of business that you’re running.


Help! Which type of alcohol licence will I need?
Each Australian state and territory has its own regulations in terms of liquor permits and licencing, and each area also has various types of licences. The type of licence you apply for can depend on whether your customers will be drinking alcohol on your premises or taking it home. It can depend on whether you intend to offer food in addition to beverages (in a restaurant, for example) or whether you offer access to gaming machines in your venue. You might be serving alcohol at an event, for a small business, or from your food truck. The options can seem overwhelming!


Completely unsure? Don’t worry. To work out which permit to apply for, you’ll want to visit the website of your state-based liquor licencing regulation.


Where do I apply for liquor licences in my state?
We’ve linked below to each of the licencing regulators in each Australian state and territory, where you can find out more about licence types and conditions as well as application and renewal fees. In most cases, you can apply online, though some applications will require a public interest assessment.


🍺 Australian Capital Territory
🍺 New South Wales
🍺 Northern Territory
🍺 Queensland
🍺 South Australia
🍺 Tasmania
🍺 Victoria
🍺 Western Australia


Of course, serving alcohol doesn’t involve just pouring a beer – there are conditions to comply with to ensure you’re not encouraging underage or irresponsible drinking. There may be inspections of your venue or event to ensure everything is as it should be. It’s worth reading through the conditions for your licence carefully so you can be confident you’re serving by the book, and check with your local council for any location-specific regulations.


Minimising extra permits and costs
We know that the liquor licencing application process can be a little daunting and seem pricey for smaller businesses, events and venues. Some options, such as allowing BYO alcohol at your premises or serving beer after a certain time, can add extra costs to your licence that may or may not be of benefit to your business. Be sure to read through the options and consider your needs before applying to keep any extra costs to a minimum.


We’re here to help you with all of your beer supply and training needs, including keg beer, beer tap systems, staff education and support. We work with businesses, clubs and organisations with no minimum order size so you can serve bevvies as it suits. If you’re just getting started, get in touch with the Malt Shovel team and we’ll be delighted to assist!


Want to add a point of difference to your menu? Why not bounce some beer and food matching ideas off our beer ambassadors?




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