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An on-premises licence allows the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises when another product or service - including food, entertainment and accommodation - is sold, supplied, or provided to customers.
Under 18s are allowed in premises with an on-premises licence.
All restaurants holding an on-premises licence need to meet the primary purpose test. If the primary purpose of the business or activity is the sale or supply of alcohol, you are not eligible for an on-premises licence.
Types of businesses that are eligible for this licence include:
An on-premises liquor licence will no longer have effect if the business or activity carried out on the premises changes or the kind of licensed premises changes without regulatory approval.
A liquor licence freeze applies in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts until 1 December 2020.
While this freeze is in place, most on-premises licences are exempt, except for nightclubs. On-premises licenses which are public entertainment venues are allowed in the freeze precincts if they regularly provide a mix of live entertainment including theatre, musicals, dance; or live or pre-recorded music, comedy, and variety performances. Precinct maps:
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:
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...
This on-premises licence allows you to sell alcohol with meals. It can also be tailored to suit a multi-purpose business - for example, if your restaurant is part of a motel complex, it can allow you to sell alcohol to guests in accommodation and conference facilities.
An on-premises licence for a restaurant is subject to a number of requirements under the liquor laws, including:
The main activity of every licensed restaurant must be preparation and service of meals to the public. An on-premises liquor licence will no longer have effect:
You may be able to obtain a Primary Service Authorisation (PSA), which will allow you to sell alcohol without meals in your restaurant. It can be part of your licence application for a new restaurant, or as an additional trading authorisation for an existing restaurant.
An interim restaurant authorisation allows you to begin serving liquor as soon as you have lodged a liquor licence application.
To be eligible, you must:
Interim restaurant authorisations are exempt from the CIS requirements under the liquor laws, as public consultation occurs as part of the development approval process with council.
If you are ineligible for an interim restaurant authorisation because you did not consult on your intention to serve alcohol as part of the public exhibition process to obtain your development approval, the public submission period for your on-premises licence application can be reduced from 30 to 14 days if you make your application online.
This shortened submission period is not available for any restaurants or cafes seeking extended trading hours or a PSA.
This on-premises licence allows the sale of alcohol, with the primary service being accommodation to residents and their guests. The 6-hour closure period does not apply to accommodation areas allowing alcohol to be supplied to guests in their room at any time.
This type of licence can be approved where temporary accommodation is provided to travellers – including a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or farm stay establishment. It cannot be approved for a boarding house, lodging house, nursing home, or caravan park.
It can be tailored to suit a multi-purpose business - for example, where a motel complex includes a public restaurant and/or function centre, the licence can also allow alcohol to be sold in the restaurant and conference facilities.
Requirements applying to an on-premises licence for accommodation-premises include:
An accommodation premises can also operate a private restaurant serving meals to residents and their guests only. A private restaurant does not need to be endorsed on the licence.
A primary service authorisation can be obtained from L&GNSW to allow alcohol to be sold without accommodation or a meal. (in a public restaurant).
This can be obtained as part of a licence application for a new accommodation-premises or as an additional trading entitlement for an existing accommodation-premises.
An application fee applies to this authorisation and a community impact statement (CIS) is required.
A community impact statement (CIS) provides evidence that you’ve advised your local community of your intention to operate a PSA, and provides them with an opportunity to provide comment. This allows L&GNSW to gauge the level of support for your application.
A catering service is defined under the Liquor Act 2007 as a ‘service for supplying food or liquor (or both) for consumption at a function, occasion or event.’
A function is also defined within the Act, and can include weddings, parties, balls, dinners, corporate events, arts events, marketing events and other similar occasions of limited duration.
If you are proposing to sell alcohol as part of a catering service at functions, occasions or events, the most appropriate liquor licence is an on-premises licence that relates to a catering service. The two main types of catering are:
Where the licensed premises are an office and where catered functions, occasions or events are held elsewhere, a Sale On Other Premises Authorisation (SOOPA) is required.
An on-premises catering class licence can also be authorised to allow the licensee to sell liquor for consumption on other premises in circumstances and times approved by ILGA.
This is known as a sale on other premises authorisation, and certain conditions and requirements apply, including:
The licensee must provide written notice to L&GNSW, the local police and the local council of proposals to provide catering services at a function to be held off premises unless it is a small, private function for 100 or fewer people.
The sale on other premises licence may be restricted when used inappropriately – for example:
Requirements applying to an on-premises licence for catering include:
No notice required
In these instances, the licensee should still notify the local council, or seek clarification from the council about what is permitted.
Written notice to L&GNSW should be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and should include:
If you are applying for a nightclub or an extended trading authorisation with your on-premises licence you will need to prepare a community impact statement (CIS).
A community impact statement (CIS) provides evidence that you’ve advised your local community of your intention to operate an on-premises liquor licence, and provides them with an opportunity to provide comment. This allows L&GNSW to gauge the level of support for your application.
Download: Forms for this 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:
It is best practice to keep copies of your and your staff’s qualifications in a register on the premises.
12noon - 10.00pm
5.00am - midnight: alcohol can only be served with or in addition to a meal in the dining room
5.00am - 12midnight: alcohol can only be served with or in addition to a meal in the dining room
Premises must be a vessel that transports passengers such as on a cruise
Under 18s allowed
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:
In your application, you need to provide detail on:
You can tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions (fees may apply). This table will help you.
Minors functions authorisation (PDF 330.6 KB)
To access other forms for an on-premises licence please visit the licence forms page.
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.
How to order signage
Your application costs include:
Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.
Pro-rata annual liquor licence fee
An on-premises 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
An on-premises licence is subject to an annual liquor licence fee, due in May each year. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.
You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.
Create a OneGov account to apply online for a new licence or maintain your existing licence online.
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.
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 www.legislation.nsw.gov.au