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Apply for a liquor licence

Applying for a liquor licence involves a number of steps that can take a significant amount of time which needs to be considered prior to lodging the application.

Community Impact Statement = 30 days: Some licences require a Community Impact Statement (CIS) to be conducted prior to applying, which takes at least 30 days to complete.

Development Approval / Development Consent = 30-100 days: You may need development approval (DA) from your local council for the proposed operation of your business. Approval can take 30 – 100 days depending on your council and the complexity of the development you’re proposing. Your DA application can be in process at the time of lodging your licence application, however your application for a liquor will not be determined until you have provided an approved DA.

Noticeboard consultation = 14 or 30 days: Once you’ve lodged a complete licence application, it will be advertised on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 30 days. This allows the community, including your local police and council, an opportunity to comment. The only exception is for an On-Premises Restaurant application, without authorisations, which is advertised on the Noticeboard for 14 days.

Determination = up to 12 weeks: Your licence application will take up to 12 weeks to be determined for grant or refusal once the Noticeboard consultation period has ended. This timeframe is highly dependent on various factors including comments or issues submitted through the Noticeboard. High risk venue applications may have a longer assessment and determination period as they are considered by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

A CIS is a written summary that describes the potential impact that a liquor licence may have on a neighbourhood and the measures put in place to manage these risks.

Licence types that require a CIS

A CIS is required if you’re applying for any of these licence types:

  • Hotel
  • General bar
  • Packaged liquor licence: including bottle shops and online sales
  • Nightclub licence: on-premises
  • Registered club licence
  • Applications to move any of these licenses
  • Multi-occasion extended trading authorisation: if the licence is not already authorised to trade after midnight on a regular basis.

If you are applying for a different licence, you don’t automatically need to conduct a CIS. However, we may request one on a case-by-case basis. Small bar licences in particular may be required to conduct a CIS. This is usually the case when an existing DA for a small bar is already in place.

When preparing any application that requires a CIS, we strongly encourage you to read Guideline 6: consideration of social impact under Section 48(5) of the Liquor Act 2007 (PDF 350.8 KB)

Community Impact Statement types

There are two types of community impact statements:

  1. Category A CIS: requires the licence applicant to consult their local council and local police and notify anyone located within 50 metres of the proposed premises.
    Form: FM2009 Category A (PDF 730.6 KB)
  2. Category B CIS: is used for more complex applications. It requires the applicant to consult with local council, local police, local health district, Department of Family and Community Services, Roads and Maritime Services, the local Aboriginal community, special interest groups in the area, and anyone located within 100 metres of the proposed premises.
    Form: FM2010 Category B (PDF 824.9 KB)

Visit community impact statements (CIS) to see what type of CIS you need to conduct for your licence. Your application cannot be accepted if you don’t conduct the correct CIS.

Consulting your community

As part of the CIS requirements, you may need to consult with particular members of your local community, including:

  • the NSW Department of Health
  • the NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  • Roads & Maritime Services (RMS)
  • recognised leaders of the local Aboriginal community, where relevant
  • occupiers of any neighbouring premises
  • special interest groups or individuals.

If your application is for a small bar licence and you are exempt from conducting a CIS, you only need to notify the local police.

Your application will be subject to a preliminary risk assessment at lodgement.

Preliminary risk assessments for applications for liquor licences are assessed for the relative risk posed in terms of potential community harm, social impact and regulatory non-compliance.

Assessments are based on the risks typically associated with the licence type and authorisations applied for; and may be subject to change following review by a licensing officer. This preliminary assessment of your application is based on information you provided about your proposed business model, trading hours, patron capacity and the licence type.

Notifying your community

You must notify your community within two days of lodging your application with L&GNSW. This must be completed before your application will be considered.

Depending on which type of application is being made, you may need to let your community know about your application by notifying:

  • local police – if you apply online this will happen automatically on your behalf
  • your local council and neighbouring council if the premises are within 500 metres of the council boundary – if you apply online this will happen automatically on your behalf
  • the Lands Division of the NSW Department of Industry if the premises are on Crown land
  • all neighbours within a 50 or 100 metre radius - this depends on the type of application
  • people passing by - attach a site notice to your premises where it is has high visibility. The site notice must remain until your application is determined.

Apply online to save time and money

You can apply for all new liquor licences online.

Applying online saves you time and 10% off your processing fee.

  • it provides you with a digital record of your application
  • you do not need to notify your local council or police - this happens automatically via L&GNSW.

Your application will be considered when all your documents are lodged:

  • correct application form – not required for online applications
  • a community impact statement – if it applies, you must conduct it thoroughly to be considered
  • a copy of your development consent or approval from council - if required
  • evidence of approval for outdoor seating - if required
  • a completed applicant declaration (TDEC5) (PDF 176.7 KB) – may be required for online applications
  • a current National Police Certificate less than 3 months old
  • an ASIC extract - if a corporation is applying for the liquor licence
  • a floor plan of the premises with an outline in red showing the area you want to licence
    Read: how to submit a floor plan with a liquor licensing application (PDF 770.5 KB)
  • evidence of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) qualifications where required. Learn more about RSA and RCG training.
  • evidence that you have told neighbouring premises.
  • application fee.

Post application process

Once you lodge a complete application, we’ll post it on our Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 14 or 30 days which gives the public an opportunity to comment.

Once the submission period ends, your application will be determined within 12 weeks. We’ll send you an email advising you of the outcome. The decision will also appear on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard and the Decisions page of our website.

Once your licence is granted, you can begin selling liquor as soon as you:

  • Purchase mandatory signs from us and display them in your venue
  • ensure that the premises is ready to trade and you have met any Council requirements.

Some applications can take longer to process

Your application can take longer to review if we don’t have all the details we need to assess it. We will come back to you to obtain the missing information to progress your application. You can help us speed up the process by:

  • Providing all the correct information at the time you apply
  • Responding to our request for missing information as soon as possible after we contact you.

You can apply to the ILGA to review a decision made by L&GNSW in relation to the:

  • application for the grant or removal of an on-premises licence relating
    to a restaurant with a primary service authorisation (PSA), a karaoke bar, catering service or vessel
  • application for the grant or removal of a small bar licence
  • application for the grant or removal of a producer/wholesaler licence that includes an application for a drink on-premises authorisation under section 50 of the Liquor Act 2007
  • application for a packaged liquor licence limited to the sale of liquor by telephone, internet and other remote means
  • application for permanent extended trading hours for any of the relevant licences listed.

Apply for a review on a decision: APP998 Review of delegated ILGA decisions made by L&GNSW. (PDF 765.1 KB)