* The information on this page contains updated content from the former fact sheet: FS3024 Small bar licence.
To operate a bar that holds a maximum of 100 patrons without gaming machines or takeaway alcohol, a small bar licence may be the best fit for you.
Convert to a small bar licence
Under the new Liquor Regulation 2018, you can convert an on-premises or a hotel general bar licence to a small bar licence free of charge for 12 months from 1 September 2018.
Find out more about converting your licence.
allows alcohol to be sold for consumption on the licensed premises but does not allow takeaway sales
doesn't permit gaming machines, keno, or betting
enables you to provide entertainment - unless this will change the principal use of your venue in which case you may need development consent from your local council
allows standard trading hours between 12noon and 2am - depending on your development consent
is exempt from trading hours risk loading fees
allows your business to stay open outside liquor trading hours although you must not sell or supply alcohol during these times
is exempt from the liquor licence freeze, as small bars are generally well-managed, with lower rates of violence, and fewer compliance issues than other late trading venues
may be exempt from the requirement to submit a community impact statement (CIS) in certain circumstances – see the What you’ll need section below
doesn't permit people under 18 on the licensed premises during liquor trading hours, though they can be on the premises during times when alcohol is not being sold or supplied.
Some smaller licensed venues are not eligible for a small bar licence. Depending on your venue, you may require a:
Development consent and notification
Before you apply for a small bar licence, contact your local council to confirm if you need development consent.
If you do need a development consent, notify both NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry within 2 working days of lodging your development application with the council.
You must also follow this process if you apply to vary your development consent.
In your notification, include:
If you fail to notify NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry within two days of lodging your development application with the council, you must submit a Category B community impact statement with your small bar licence application.
Community impact statement
A community impact statement (CIS):
What else you need before you apply
Submit the following items with your application:
If you’re converting to a small bar from an on-premises or a hotel general bar, you may convert your licence for free until 1 September 2019.
If applying as an individual you'll also need:
If applying as an organisation you'll also need:
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.
Small bar standard trading hours are midday to 2am, Monday to Sunday, with the exception of Good Friday and Christmas Day.
You can apply to extend your trading hours:
The table below outlines the standard trading hours and maximum extended trading hours for a small bar licence.
You can apply for an extended trading authorisation:
Forms for flexible licensing options
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:
In your application, you need to provide detail on:
A small bar licence is subject to most regulatory controls that apply to other licences where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises:
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:
Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.
Ongoing licence fees
A small bar 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 must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.
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 process, if applicable.
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