Thinking of starting a local pub? To serve alcohol in Queensland, your business needs to hold a wine or liquor licence. Not sure of what you need to do to get a liquor licence? Here are 3 quick tips for obtaining a liquor licence in Queensland.

1. Choosing what type of liquor licence you need

There are a number of different types of licences that are specific to the type of business you want to start. Whether you want to a start a night club, a restaurant bar or a commercial brewery that will make its own beer and wine, you will need to specify the type of venue you plan on serving alcohol in.

The licence types range from a commercial hotel to a community club licence and vary in costs based on the type. If your business intends to serve alcohol in a public place, such as at a wedding event or function, or where there is a park with a barbeque area in front of your business, you will also need to ask local council to declare that space a “wet area”. If not, you and your patrons may be facing some hefty fines!

Did you want to sell alcohol online? To do so you will need to acquire a specific commercial retail alcohol licence. So before you even begin your application you will need to decide what establishment you want to run to make sure that you apply for the correct licence.

Starting a brewery is on my bucket list.

2. Application for licence

So after you’ve chosen a licence that is suitable for your business, how do you apply for this licence?

You need to obtain a Form 1: Application for a liquor licence from This is document is over 20 pages and needs to be filled out carefully and correctly.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulations in Queensland (“OLGR”) has set some guidelines for the minimum requirements for liquor licence applications. You should note that your liquor licnce will not be accepted unless they meet certain minimum requirements, and the OLGR may return these to you or your solicitor.

For example, section 107 of the Liquor Act 1992 (Qld) requires that a person is “fit and proper”. Whether or not a person is “fit and proper” will be considered in light of whether the person:

  • can demonstrate a knowledge and good understanding of his or her obligations under a liquor licence;
  • has a good repute, without a history of behaviour which could render him or under to be unsuitable to hold a liquor licence; and
  • is able to demonstrate a responsible attitude in relation to his or her financial obligations.

3. Fees

Now before your apply, you need to make sure you’re serious about your ambitions of running a local brewery because the application process can be quite expensive!

Licences are subject to an application fee, a base annual fee (if successful) plus an additional fee calculated by the level of risk relating to the trading hours, service practices and compliance history of your new bar.

The application fee itself can cost roughly $6,000. So speak to an experienced business lawyer before you start applying! It just might just be the cheapest conversation you ever had.


So are you ready to spend your afternoons lying around, basking in the glory of Queensland’s sun and enjoying a cool beer? Not a bad way to make a living, right?

Let the team at LegalVision guide you through the process of obtaining a liquor licence today! Call on 1300 544 755 and talk to one of our experienced lawyers for a free fixed-fee quote.

Lachlan McKnight
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