Interested in owning a business like a bottle shop, nightclub, bar or restaurant in the ACT? If you answered yes, then your business will most likely need a liquor licence. Not quite sure what the process is for applying? We run you through the steps you’ll need to complete to get your business up and running.

What Liquor Licence Should I Apply For?

The ACT has five main licences that will allow you to sell alcohol in an open container for consumption on your business or in closed containers for consumption away from your business. These licence types are as follows:

  • General licence
  • On licence
  • Club licence
  • Off-licence, and
  • Special licence.

Some of these licences have sub-classes that you will also need to consider when determining which licence to apply for. For example, the On licence allows a licensee to sell liquor on their premises and has sub-classes that apply to nightclubs, bars, restaurants and cafes. The cost of each application will vary depending on the licence you have applied for.

How do I Apply for a Licence?

Access Canberra is the platform you’ll need to submit your application once you’ve decided what class of liquor licence best suits your business. This will involve submitting the application fee and completing the application form.

What Will I Need to Include in my Application?

You will be required to submit suitability information and a recent National Police Check for the key people involved in your business. This aims to ensure that liquor licences are only granted to applicants who will comply with all requirements of the licence, such as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.

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

Liquor Licence for a New Premises

You’re required to give the public 30 days notice of your application including displaying a sign at the premises and publishing notice on the ACT Open Government website. The community can then make submissions that you’ll have the opportunity to address later in the process.

What is a Risk Assessment Management Plan?

These plans are an important part of your application for a liquor licence. The plan will allow you to demonstrate what measures you will have in place to ensure minimal disturbance to the community and maximise occupancy safety. The plan should include information on how you intend to provide adequate security, fire safety, noise compliance and serve alcohol responsibly.

Is That Everything?

Not quite, you’ll also need to ensure that you, your close associates and your staff have all completed a recognised Responsible Service of Alcohol training program within the last three years – this is an ongoing requirement.

Liquor licencing is a heavily regulated area in which to operate a business and there may be several other compliance requirements that are relevant to your liquor licence. If you have any questions or need assistance with your liquor licence application, let us know. 

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Thomas Richman
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy