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If you want to operate a bar that holds a maximum of 120 patrons without gaming machines or takeaway alcohol, a small bar licence may be the best fit for you.
Under the Liquor Regulation 2018, you can convert an on-premises or a hotel general bar licence to a small bar licence free of charge until 28 February 2021.
Conversions cannot be reversed and existing licences will be cancelled when a small bar conversion is approved. On-premises licence holders wishing to convert to a small bar licence must obtain development consent that permits the premises to be operated as a small bar.
Download and complete: Small bar licence conversion application form (PDF 734.5 KB).
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 supporting materials for your licence.
Some smaller licensed venues are not eligible for a small bar licence. Depending on your venue, you may require a:
Before you apply for a small bar licence, contact your local council to confirm if you need development consent.
If you need a new development consent, or to vary an existing development consent, in order to run a small bar in the premises, you should notify both NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service within two working days of lodging your small bar development application with the council.
Provided you notify both the above stakeholders within the two day timeframe, you will not have to complete a Category B community impact statement.
In your notification, include:
If you fail to notify NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service 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.
If consent is already in place for a small bar, or council confirm you are not required to vary your existing DA, you must submit a Category B community impact statement with your small bar licence application.
A community impact statement (CIS):
This process takes at least 30 days and must be completed before you lodge your small bar application.
Once your application is lodged, you will be provided with a Public Site Notice which you will need to affix to your premises until the application is granted. Council and Police will be automatically notified of your application.
A paper form version of the site notices can be downloaded below if you wish to complete them manually at your convenience prior to lodgement of your application.
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 28 February 2021.
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 12pm (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 tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions - fees may apply.
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.
Pro-rata annual liquor licence fee
A small bar licence is subject to a pro-rata annual liquor licence fee depending on the time of year your liquor licence is granted.
This fee covers the amount of time you use the liquor licence in its first year before the billing cycle starts on 15 March each year. Calculate your pro-rata fee.
Annual liquor licence fee
A small bar 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