A business that intends to supply liquor in Victoria must have a liquor licence.
How Whites Legal can help:
- Liquor licence applications
- Vary, transfer and relocate liquor licences
- Infringements under the Liquor Control Reform Act
- Buying a restaurant, bar, nightclub, pub or hotel with a liquor licence
- Breach of liquor licence
Victorians should raid the Commission’s website. There’s heaps of information there.
The type of licence required will depend on the type of applicant and how they wish to supply the liquor:
- General licence: usually for pubs, hotels and taverns. On premises drinking and take away sales.
- On-premises licence: usually for bars and nightclubs and for restaurants and cafes (if serving without meals). On premises drinking.
- Restaurant and cafe licence: On premises drinking. About one quarter of the renewal cost of an on-premises licence, but with conditions on seating and serving food.
- BYO permit
- Club licence: for members and guests of members at clubs.
- Late night licence: variations of the general, on-premises and packaged liquor licence.
- Renewable limited licence: for bed and breakfasts, online retailing, caravan parks.
- Temporary limited licence: for one-off events or for a one-off extension of trading hours.
- Packaged liquor licence: for bottle shops.
- Wine and beer producer’s licence
- Pre-retail: for wholesalers.
- Major event: more than 5,000 people.
There are a few licences which can apply to some hospitality businesses. More freedom means higher licence fees.
You should run a simple cost-benefit analysis by comparing the increased cost of the licence and operational costs against the increase in revenue from (for example) being open later, or allowing more people to drink at the bar.
- Back to school for the owner. If the person in control of the business hasn’t held a liquor licence before, they’ll need to complete both a New Entrant Training and a Responsible Service of Alcohol courses or a combined Licensees’ First Step course. Budget around one and a half days. Clubs have slightly different rules.
- Back to school for the staff. Each employee must have face-to-face RSA training before starting and complete an RSA online refresher course every three years. Budget around half a day for each employee.
- Make sure you have permission before applying. That’s either through planning permission or through the planning scheme.
- Head for VCGLR’s website to apply for a liquor licence.