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General bar licence

A general bar licence is a type of hotel licence. The primary purpose of this licence is to sell alcohol to the public for consumption on the premises.

The general bar licence allows you to:

  • operate dining facilities, accommodation and public entertainment – when approved by the local council
  • sell alcohol at a function away from the premises.

It does not allow you to:

  • sell sale of takeaway alcohol
  • operate of gaming machines, keno or wagering.

Under the Liquor Act 2007 there isn’t a patron limit on a general bar licence, but your local council can impose a limit.

Businesses that use the general bar licence include:

  • large bars
  • pubs
  • accommodation hotels

Applying tips:

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.

The information below will help you to prepare your application and gather all the necessary materials for your licence. However, if you're ready now...

Apply online

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

  • hotel licence if want to sell takeaway alcohol or operate gaming machines
  • small bar licence if want to limit numbers of patrons allowed on the premises to 120 or less.

Liquor Licence Freeze

liquor licence freeze applies in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts 30 April 2021. While this freeze is in place, certain types of new liquor licences, including hotel licences, cannot be granted.

Precinct maps: 

Community impact statement

Before you apply for a general bar 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.


What else you need before you apply

  • a floor plan showing the proposed boundaries for the licensed area (and any authorisations applied for)
  • a copy of development approval or consent from your local council
  • proposed 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, 173.74 KB
  • payment for your application.

If applying as an individual you'll also need:

If you're 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

Download: Forms you'll need for a General Bar Licence

​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

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

TradingStandard hours Extended hours - if permitted
Monday - Saturday

5.00am - midnight

Midnight - 5.00am *
Sunday10.00am - 10.00pm10.00pm - 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 Friday12noon - 10.00pmNot permitted
Christmas Day12.00noon - 10.00pm 
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 4.00am and ends at 10.00am 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.


You can tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions - fees may apply.
Flexible licensing optionRelevant form
Allows trading outside standard trading hoursExtended trading authorisation PDF, 938.23 KB
Allows extended trading for a special occasion on a specified dateExtended trading authorisation - special occasion PDF, 801.42 KB
Allows sale of liquor for consumption at a function located away from the hotelFunction on other premises authorisation PDF, 870.24 KB
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 before the function date to avoid a late fee charge. Consult the Liquor Fee Schedule for application fees and late fee charges.Large scale commercial event – function on other premises authorisation PDF, 373.8 KB
Allows minors in a specified area when accompanied by a responsible adultMinors area authorisation PDF, 291.51 KB
Allows minors to attend functions in specified areas

Minors function authorisation PDF, 330.55 KB

  • 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 general bar 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.

Licence fees

Pro-rata annual liquor licence fee

A general bar licence is subject to a pro-rata annual liquor licence fee depending on the time of year your liquor licence is granted.

The fee is calculated on a quarterly basis and reflects the amount of time you use the licence before the next billing cycle (on 15 March the following year). Calculate your pro-rata fee.

Annual liquor licence fee

A general licence is subject to an annual liquor licence fee, due in May each year. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.

Apply online now

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

Apply online

Create a OneGov account to apply online for a new licence or maintain your existing licence online.

Advantages to lodging your application online:

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

Next steps

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:

Call: 1300 024 720 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm


Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at