Reading time: 4 minutes

If you intend to serve alcohol on your premises in New South Wales, you will need to obtain one of the seven liquor licences available. Of the seven, the liquor licence pertinent to club owners is the club licence. The club licence authorises the licensee to sell liquor to club members (or a guest of a member) for consumption on or away from the licensed premises. We set out below answers to some frequently asked questions for those considering starting, or taking over, an existing club.

1. What are the Conditions Attached to Club Licences?

Liquor and Gaming NSW will only grant a club licence to a club. A club must meet the requirements set out in the Registered Clubs Act 1976 (NSW). These are fairly extensive and include strict rules about the membership and objects of the club as well as ongoing reporting requirements. If a club owns many different premises, Liquor & Gaming NSW will require a separate licence for each location.

A club must also comply with the following conditions:

1. Clubs with a club licence cannot advance cash. So, a club cannot give its members drinks on credit as it would probably be considered equivalent to a cash advance. However, it does not prevent the provision of cash machines.

2. A club with a club licence is not permitted to own or have an interest in a hotel. Hotels are subject to a different licence altogether. The exception is for clubs that held such an interest before the restriction began in 2002.

3. The club will need to comply with ongoing requirements around signage and responsible service of alcohol.

2. What are the Trading Hours for Clubs with a Club Licence?

The standard trading hours for any liquor licence are 5 am to midnight Monday through Saturday and 10 am to 10 pm on Sundays. This rule is unless the club has obtained an extended trading authorisation. For clubs, the exceptions are:

  • Takeaway sales must stop at 10 pm;
  • No takeaway sales on Good Friday or Christmas day; and
  • New Year’s Eve until 2 am on the next day (or later if the club’s licence permits).

However, a licence may be made subject to specific conditions that vary the hours above.

3. How Do I Apply for a Liquor Licence?

The Liquor & Gaming NSW authority regulates liquor sale, and you can apply for a liquor licence on their website. This application is through the NSW OneGov system with reduced fees if you apply online rather than in paper form.

However, before you apply for a club licence, you should:

  • Consider whether you need any development consent or other approval from the local council;
  • Check whether your entity/organisation is a club at all; and
  • Check what regulations it will need to satisfy or which registrations it may require.

You need to have completed a Community Impact Statement at least 30 days before lodging your application. For a club licence, you require the more extensive Category B Community Impact Statement. The statement requires you to:

  • Consider in detail the impact of your proposed licence for the community around the club;
  • Consult meaningfully with the community around the club; and
  • Address the community’s concerns or at least have made reasonable attempts to do so.

Within two days of submitting your application, you need to undertake community consultation which involves:

  • Informing the police;
  • Notifying the local council;
  • Alerting all neighbours; and
  • Attaching a site notice to the premises until a decision is made about the application.

If you apply online, some of these may be done automatically for you as part of your application.

The application is then posted on the online liquor application noticeboard for 30 days to allow the general public to comment.

4. How Much Does a Liquor Licence Cost?

Currently, the application fee is $500. There are also annual licence fees to pay. The base fee is currently $510, but there are significant loadings for extended hours and potential additions for various risk factors.

For example, if your licence allows you to stay open until 1:30am and serve liquor to any member, guest or patron you would incur a risk loading of $2,500 giving a total licence fee of $3,100.

5. How Long Does it Take Authorities to Determine Whether My Application Has Been Successful?

The Independent Liquor and Gaming authority will usually determine an application within four months of the end of the public advertising period.

***

Have any questions about making a club licence application? Are you considering making an application yourself? Get in touch with our liquor licensing team on 1300 544 755.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards