Liquor and Gaming NSW > Liquor > Liquor licences > Which licence do I need?

Hotel licence

* The information on this page contains updated content from the former fact sheet: FS3120 hotel licence

A hotel licence allows you to:
  • sell alcohol to the public for consumption on the premises
  • sell takeaway alcohol 
  • have gaming machines and allow keno and betting, subject to separate approval
  • sell alcohol at functions away from the premises, subject to separate approval 
  • provide entertainment, however your venue’s main business must be the sale and supply of alcohol to the public
Under the Liquor Act 2007 there isn’t a patron limit on a hotel licence, but your local council can impose a limit.

Types of businesses that use this licence include:
  • pubs
  • hotels with accommodation
  • large bars

 Businesses not eligible for a hotel licence

​Some venues are not eligible for a hotel licence. Depending on your venue, you may require a:

Liquor Licence Freeze

A liquor licence freeze applies in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts until 1 June 2019. While this freeze is in place, certain types of new liquor licences, including hotel licences, cannot be granted.

Precinct maps: 

 What you’ll need

Community impact statement

Before you apply for a hotel licence, you must prepare a Category B community impact statement (CIS). 

A community impact statement (CIS) provides evidence that you’ve advised your local community of your intention to operate a hotel liquor licence, and provides them with an opportunity to provide comment. 

This allows us to gauge the level of support for your application. You must:

  • complete your CIS at least 30 days before lodging this application
  • lodge the CIS with the application. 

Consult How to prepare a Category B CIS (PDF 257KB) for more information.

What else you need before you apply

  • a floor plan clearly showing the proposed boundaries for the licensed area
  • a copy of your local council development approval or consent
  • requested liquor trading hours
  • details of the venue owner
  • contact details for you or a person authorised to submit your application
  • if applicable, a completed applicant declaration (TDEC5) (PDF, 177KB)
  • payment for your application.

If applying as an individual you'll also need:

  • evidence of your Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications, including your Licensee training and Advanced licensee training qualifications,  if appropriate 
  • evidence of your Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) qualifications (if applicable)
  • a current National Police Certificate issued within the last three months
  • the three identity documents you used when applying for the National Police Certificate.

If applying as an organisation you'll also need:

  • ABN, ACN or Y/INC
  • the names and birthdates of all directors and officeholders (if it is a proprietary company)
  • a current Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) extract
  • if applicable, inclusion of the appointment of manager notice.


​The licensee and all staff involved in selling, serving or supplying alcohol need to have completed an approved Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and hold a valid NSW competency card. 

This requirement also applies to security staff and promotional staff conducting tastings on the premises.

The Liquor Regulation 2018 introduced an additional two compulsory courses for licensees and managers: 

  1. Licensee training 
  2. Advanced licensee training

Staff with gaming machine responsibilities also need to hold a current RCG competency card. 

It is best practice to keep copies of your and your staff’s qualifications in a register on the premises. 

 Standard and extended trading hours

​You can sell alcohol at any time during the standard trading period - as shown in the table below. 

On New Year’s Eve, you can sell alcohol until 2am the next day, or until a later time under an extended trading authorisation (PDF, 174KB).

You can apply for extended trading hours as part of your hotel licence application. 

  • Additional fees would apply – see the Liquor Fee Schedule 
  • In this instance, the CIS would need to address and issues relating to your proposed extended trading hours.

The table outlines standard and extended trading hours for a hotel licence. 

Standard hours​​Extended hours - if permitted
​Monday - Saturday
5am - midnight​

Midnight - 5am​*
​10am - 10pm
10pm - midnight:  All areas

Midnight - 5am​:  Premises located in City of Sydney, Kings Cross precinct, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst precinct, and the Kosciuszko National Park only 

​Good Friday
​12noon - 10pm
Not permitted ​

​Christmas Day
​12noon - 10pm
Alcohol can only be served with or in addition to a meal in a dining room.

Not permitted ​

* These hours are subject to the 6-hour closure period

Daily 6-hour closure period

A 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences, including those with extended trading hours. It usually starts at 4am and ends at 10am each day. 

You can apply to change the 6-hour closure period:

  • temporarily
  • permanently
  • to different times on different days of the week. 

In your application, you need to provide detail on:

  • the current and proposed hours of closure, and why the closing period should be changed 
  • the demonstrated or likely needs of patrons
  • the interests of the local community 
  • the opinion of local police on the proposal, if any
  • ways you will minimise harm associated with misuse and abuse of alcohol - including harm arising from violence and other anti-social behaviour
  • ways you will promote, sell and supply alcohol safely and responsibly
  • ways the proposal will not detract from the amenity of community life.

 Customising your licence

You can tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions. 

Flexible licensing option
Relevant form
Allows trading outside standard trading hours
Extended trading authorisation (PDF, 174KB)
Allows extended trading for a special occasion on a specified date
Extended trading authorisation - special occasion (PDF, 145KB)
Allows sale of liquor for consumption at a function located away from the hotel
Function on other premises authorisation 
(PDF, 948KB)
​From 1 September 2018, if any Function on other premises authorisation application is open to the public and has an anticipated patron capacity of 2,000 or more, you must lodge form AM0031. Ensure this application is lodged at least 28 days befeore the function date to avoid a late fee charge. Consult the Liquor Fee Schedule for application fees and late fee charges.
AM0031 Large scale commercial event – function on other premises authorisation (PDF, 378KB)
Allows minors in a specified area when accompanied by a responsible adult
Minors area authorisation (PDF, 125KB)
Allows minors to attend functions in specified areas
Minors function authorisation (PDF, 122KB)
Allows use of a hotel bar area to sell/supply liquor exclusively to hotel residents outside of usual trading hours
Residents bar authorisation (PDF, 119KB)

 Licence requirements

  • your premises must be open to the public and not run as a private club
  • free drinking water must be available to patrons whenever alcohol is served
  • food must be available whenever alcohol is served on the premises
  • a sign must be displayed at the front of the premises that shows:
    • the name of the premises 
    • the type of liquor licence held and that the premises holds a hotel licence
    • the name of the licensee
  • under 18s are permitted only in those areas of the premises where a minors area authorisation has been approved by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA)
  • an incident register must be maintained where the premises regularly trades past midnight
  • conditions can be imposed  on  the licence, either under the liquor laws or by  ILGA.


​The law requires that all types of licensed venues display liquor signs. This includes a number of compulsory signs, depending on which licence and authorisations you have.


Your application costs include:

  • an application fee
  • a non-refundable processing fee.

Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.

Ongoing licence fees

A hotel licence is subject to annual liquor licence fee, due in April each year. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.


​Complete the application form:

Lodging your application online has several advantages:

  • you receive a 10% discount
  • the online form easier to complete
  • it speeds up processing time.

Once your application is lodged, we will advertise it on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 30 days. The community can comment on your application, as well as people who were consulted as part of the CIS.

You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.

 More information

We're here to help. 

Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:

Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at