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Transfer your licence

You can transfer a liquor licence when you buy or sell a business allowing a new business owner to trade under the existing licence or when you want to change the licensee.

Businesses can continue to operate while L&GNSW considers a licence transfer application. A provisional approval is provided until the confirmation is made. A licence transfer does not become effective until provisional approval has been provided.

There are four ways to transfer a licence:

  1. ​With written permission of the outgoing licensee​
  2. Without written permission of the outgoing licensee
  3. Following the death, disability or bankruptcy of a licensee
  4. Notice of licence transfer.

Fees

All transfer applications attract a fee. Refer to the Liquor fee schedule

If the proposed licensee is an organisation, a manager must be appointed. See the section on Manager approval and appointment.

This is a straightforward process for both individuals and businesses which usually includes two steps:

  1. provisional approval
  2. confirmation.

You are able to submit your application online or via a paper based form.

Documentation required for online and paper based forms

Include the following in your application:

  • Evidence of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications
  • If required, evidence of Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) qualification. Find out more about RSA and RCG training.
  • If the liquor licence includes gaming machine entitlements, you will also need to provide a direct debit form and data monitoring forms to show there are no outstanding payments.
  • A copy of your NSW National Police Certificate that is less than three months old or a receipt that shows you have applied for one. Find out how to apply to NSW Police for a copy of your National Police Certificate
  • Corporate licensees must provide a current ASIC extract showing directors and officeholders.You can buy this document through the ASIC website.

Provisional approval of your licence transfer can usually be provided within four weeks of lodging a complete application and much sooner if the application is lodged online. Confirmation of your licence transfer will usually occur within 60 days.

Paper based transfers

Offline transfers need to include the above information and complete: AM0321 Liquor licence transfer: with consent of existing licensee form (PDF 425.8 KB).

Online transfers

Online submissions receive a 10% discount off processing fees.

You also need to download and complete the relevant declaration forms below and include them in your online application.

TDEC1 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration by existing licensee (PDF 571.6 KB)

This declaration collects the signature of the existing licensee and provides their consent to the transfer of the liquor licence from themselves to the proposed licensee. Where the existing licensee is an organisation, two signatures are required.

TDEC2 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration by proposed licensee (PDF 583.7 KB)

This declaration collects the signature of the incoming licensee. The declaration includes requirements specific to an incoming licensee such as responsible service of alcohol and disciplinary action.

Where the applicant is the proposed licensee there is no requirement to complete this declaration as it will be added to the online form. The contents of the pdf declaration is included in the form.

As the owner of a business or licensed premises, you can apply to transfer a liquor licence into your name or the name of someone you nominate. This is known as an owner in possession transfer application.

This option is open to you if the current licensee has:

  • not agreed to transfer the liquor licence
  • vacated the premises
  • been evicted.

For this type of transfer application to be considered, you need to advise the outgoing licensee of the application by either a letter sent by registered post or an email. In your letter or email you must also let them know that they have three days to make a submission to L&GNSW.

You are able to submit your application online or via a paper based form.

Who can make this application?

Premises owner

The law provides for a premises owner to be the licensee of the premises for 28 days from the date they become entitled to possession of the premises.

Lodging your application within that period will allow you to continue to trade until your application is determined.

As a premises owner, you must provide evidence of ownership, such as:

  • a copy of a current lease
  • current rates notice
  • current lands title documents.

Business owner

As a business owner, you can make an owner in possession application only if you own the business under which the licence has operated.

New buyers of a business who have never owned the business under which the licence has operated can't make an owner in possession application. However, you can seek consent from the outgoing licensee, or ask the premises owner to make an owner in possession application.

In most cases, we give provisional approval within five working days of receiving your application so you can continue operating the business without disruption.

Documentation required for online and paper based forms

Include the following in your application:

  • A copy of the letter or email you sent to the outgoing licensee
  • Evidence of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications
  • If required, evidence of Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) qualification. Find out more about RSA and RCG training.
  • If the liquor licence includes gaming machine entitlements, you will also need to provide a direct debit form and data monitoring forms (PDF 163.9 KB) to show there are no outstanding payments.
  • A copy of your NSW National Police Certificate that is less than 3 months old. Apply to NSW Police for a copy of your National Police Certificate 
  • Corporate licensees must provide a current ASIC extract showing directors and officeholders. Buy this document through the ASIC website
  • Pay the applicable fee.

Provisional approval of your licence transfer can usually be provided within four weeks of lodging a complete application and much sooner if the application is lodged online. Confirmation of your licence transfer will usually occur within 60 days.

Paper based transfers

Offline transfers need to include the above information and complete: AM0322 Liquor licence transfer: without consent of existing licensee form (PDF 442.2 KB)

Online transfers

Online submissions receive a 10% discount off processing fees and saves processing time.

You also need to download and complete the relevant declaration forms below and include them in your online application.

TDEC2 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration by proposed licensee (PDF 583.7 KB)

This declaration collects the signature of the incoming licensee. The declaration includes requirements specific to an incoming licensee such as responsible service of alcohol and disciplinary action.

Where the applicant is the proposed licensee there is no requirement to complete this declaration as it will be added to the online form. The contents of the pdf declaration is included in the form.

TDEC3 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration owner in possession (PDF 576.0 KB)

This declaration is only applicable where the existing licensee has not provided consent to the transfer of the licence. In these instances, proof of reasonable steps to contact the existing licensee coupled with the consent of the owner in possession is sufficient to transfer the licence.

Where the owner in possession is an organisation, two signatures are required.

If a licensee was using a liquor licence immediately before their death, bankruptcy, or disability, another adult can continue to operate that licensee's business for up to one month if they are:

  • the licensee's spouse or de facto partner
  • a member of the licensee's family
  • someone who carries on business on behalf of the family.​

You must notify us immediately and we may endorse continuation of the licensed business by the person you nominate. However, we must be satisfied that this person is fit and proper to hold the liquor licence.

They will need a current National Police Certificate (NPC) issued by NSW Police Force. Apply now for a copy of your National Police Certificate

Apply now: AM0323 Liquor licence transfer: death, disability or bankruptcy of existing licensee form​ (PDF 439.3 KB)

A notice of licence transfer is available at a reduced cost and online applications are further reduced by 10%.

Transfer your licence this way if you satisfy these criteria:

  • the business owner is not changing
  • you are transferring to another licensee who has held the same licence type during the previous 3 years
  • the proposed licensee has not committed a prescribed offence or been disqualified during that 3 year period, and the licence has not been suspended or cancelled.

This streamlined process benefits businesses that operate multiple liquor licences and regularly move their staff from one location to another.

You are able to submit your application online or via a paper based form.

Paper based transfers

Offline transfers need to include the above information and complete: Transfer Notification - Form AM0330 (PDF 326.2 KB)

Online transfers

Online submissions receive a 10% discount off processing fees and saves processing time.

You also need to download and complete the relevant declaration forms below and include them in your online application.

TDEC2 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration by proposed licensee (PDF 583.7 KB)

This declaration collects the signature of the incoming licensee. The declaration includes requirements specific to an incoming licensee such as responsible service of alcohol and disciplinary action.

Where the applicant is the proposed licensee there is no requirement to complete this declaration as it will be added to the online form. The contents of the pdf declaration is included in the form.

TDEC4 Online liquor licence transfer: declaration by business owner (PDF 572.0 KB)

The business owner declaration relates to the short form transfer notice only. This short form is covered by Section 60A of the Act and allows for notice to be given to L&GNSW of a transfer when the following conditions are met:

  • the business owner is not changing
  • you are transferring to another licensee who has held the same licence type during the previous 3 years
  • the proposed licensee has not committed a prescribed offence or been disqualified during that 3 year period
  • the licence has not been suspended or cancelled.

Consent from the business owner and the proposed licensee are needed for this type of application. Where the business owner is an organisation, two signatures are required.