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Liquor licence exemption for not for profit organisations 


As a not for profit organisation, you may be eligible to sell liquor at up to six fundraising functions annually without a liquor licence.

The sale of liquor at a fundraising function is subject to responsible service of alcohol and other requirements under the Liquor Act 2007.

 Is my organisation eligible?

A liquor license exemption is only available to a non profit organisation defined as:

  1. An incorporated or unincorporated body or association of persons, including a club, that:
    1. Is required to apply its profits, if any, and other income to the promotion of its objects
    2. Is prohibited from paying dividends, or distributing profits or income, to its shareholders or members
  2. A local council
  3. Community organisation established with a school that consists of parents of children attending the school with other persons interested in the welfare of the school.

 When is an exemption not available?

​An exemption is not available where:

  • a limited liquor licence is currently held on behalf of the organisation
  • an order is in force that prevents a limited liquor licence from being held on behalf of the organisation
  • the organisation has been declared ineligible for an exemption by L&GNSW
  • disciplinary action has been taken under the liquor laws against a person that has held a limited liquor licence on behalf of the organisation in the last six months
  • the organisation, secretary, or an office holder has committed a serious offence under the liquor laws during the last six months
  • the organisation wishes to sell liquor at more than six functions annually.

 Regulatory requirements

  • ​The function must be held to raise funds for the benefit of the organisation conducting the function, or for the community

  • The sale and supply of liquor must support the function and not be the sole purpose of the function

  • You need to give Liquor and Gaming NSW, local council and local police at least 14 days notice of a proposed function for the area where the function is being held. You can submit your notice online through service.nsw.gov.au

  • The maximum capacity for a function is 250 people at any one time

  • Free drinking water must be available

  • Free food must be available, including food requiring preparation,cooking or heating. Unprepared snack foods (chips and nuts) are not sufficient

  • Police and L&GNSW inspectors must be permitted access to the venue where the function is being held

  • An adult member or adult committee member must be present near the bar area at all times to supervise anyone aged under 18 years

  • Liquor can only be sold or supplied from one bar

  • All liquor must be sold or supplied in open containers, such as opened cans or bottles

  • The exemption does not allow for takeaway sales.

 Training

Licensees and all staff involved in the selling, service or supply of alcohol need to have completed a 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: Licensee training and Advanced licensee training.

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

 Signage

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.

 Trading hours

Liquor can only be sold and supplied at the function for a maximum of four continuous hours. 

Liquor sales can occur only between 6am and midnight.

 Non-compliance with exemption requirements

Where there are concerns about the conduct of a function, Liquor and Gaming can issue a written direction to the organisation to prevent or restrict the sale of liquor at the function.

Non-compliance of this direction will result in penalties of up to $5,500, including a $550 penalty notice, to the not for profit organisation or person who does not comply with the direction.

Where any of the exemption requirements are not complied with: significant penalties of up to $11,000 can apply, including a $1,100 penalty notice, to the not for profit organisation, or to the secretary, or office holder. 

 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 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au