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Are you considering selling alcohol at a public event or a private event with more than 30 people? Is the event being held somewhere in the ACT other than on premises you may hold a liquor licence? If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions, you should probably consider applying for a liquor permit.

What is the Difference Between a Liquor Licence and a Liquor Permit?

A Liquor Licence is required when you intend to sell alcohol from a single site during certain regular trading hours. Whereas a Liquor Permit authorises you to sell an amount of alcohol in a particular event during an allowed time. The permit conditions will include a restriction on how much alcohol you may sell, calculated by the total retail value of your intended stock. The kind of events you might apply for a liquor permit could include a sports game, festival, market or concert.

There are two types of Liquor Permits available in the ACT:

  • Commercial Liquor Permit: Available to most businesses who intend to sell alcohol at an event.
  • Non-commercial Liquor Permit: Available to not-for-profit organisations – these permits have significantly lower fees for Commercial Liquor Permits.

What Will I Need to Include in my Application?

The application process is very similar to a standard liquor licence. You must submit suitability information and a recent National Police Check for the key people involved in your business. The aim of this check is to ensure that only permit-holders who intend to comply with the conditions of their permit, and exercise responsible service of alcohol, are granted permission to sell liquor to the public at an event.

Key people you will need to provide information on include the proposed permit-holder and any investors/directors or other person with significant influence within the business. You will also need to provide information about staff who have the power to make business decisions in the absence of the permit-holder. If you’re applying on behalf of a corporation, then you will also need to provide suitability information for executives and anyone who has the power to appoint an executive.

What is a Risk Assessment Management Plan (RAMP)?

The RAMP is an important part of your application for a commercial liquor permit as it allows you to demonstrate how you intend to minimise disturbance to the community and ensure that all attendees are adequately protected from danger of fire or violence. You will also need to provide information about whether the venue you intend to operate at is fully or partially enclosed. Each event will likely differ so you may need to consult the organisers to determine what event-wide procedures may impact planning for your business when drafting your RAMP.

What Happens When I’m Granted a Liquor Permit?

There are a number of ongoing requirements for permit holders. The first is ensuring you have all the responsible service of alcohol certificates for yourself plus your bar and security staff. You’ll also need to keep a register of any incidents that occur and maintain an electronic record of your liquor sales.

Questions about applying for a liquor license or permit? Let us know. 


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