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If you intend to sell alcohol through a home delivery service, via mail order or online, you must hold a valid liquor licence. Specifically, you must hold a “packaged liquor licence”. This licence does not allow for the consumption of alcohol on the licensed premises. You can only sell liquor in sealed containers for people to consume elsewhere, unless it is for your employees or for the purposes of tasting. This article explains how to apply for a packaged liquor licence.

What is a Packaged Liquor Licence?

Under a packaged liquor licence, a licensee will be authorised to sell:

  1. liquor by retail in sealed containers on the licensed premises for consumption away from the licensed premises;
  2. liquor wholesale to persons authorised to sell liquor;
  3. or supply liquor, at any time on the licensed premises, to the employees of the licensee;
  4. or supply liquor on the licensed premises during the trading hours permitted, otherwise than in sealed containers to customers only for the purpose of tasting.

Disqualifying Businesses

Some types of businesses cannot hold a packaged liquor licence. These include:

A general store includes a convenience store, mixed business or a milk bar with a retail area of more than 240 square meters whose primary business function is the sale of groceries.

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Trading Hours

Under a packaged liquor licence, businesses can usually only sell alcohol between the hours of 5 am to 10 pm, Monday to Sunday. Your business must not sell alcohol on Good Friday or Christmas Day. It is possible to seek an extension of the trading hours as a part of the application. However, you must pay an additional fee to extend your trading hours.

Daily Six Hour Closure

A daily six-hour closure period applies to all packaged liquor licences granted from the 30 October 2008 onwards. The usual closure time is 11 pm to 4 am. Just like with the trading hours, it is possible to seek an amendment to the standard six-hour closure time. However, to do so, you must outline:

  • why you are seeking the amendment;
  • the current and proposed mode of operation;
  • the likely impact the change will have on the business’ patrons and the local community;
  • the opinion of the local police on the proposal;
  • how the proposed closure period will minimise the harm associated with misuse and abuse of alcohol;
  • how the proposed closure period will encourage responsible attitudes and practices towards the promotion, sale, supply, service and consumption of alcohol; and
  • whether the proposed closure period will detract from the amenity of community life.

Liquor Sales Area

A bottle shop can only operate in an area of the licensed premises that is adequately separated from the remainder of the premises. Other than the selling of packaged liquor, no other activity can be conducted in the designated liquor sales area.

Notification

Before an applicant can submit an application for a packaged liquor licence to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (NSW), they must first notify the local community of their intention to apply for the licence. You can do this by completing a Notice of Intention to Apply for a Liquor Licence (the notice). In addition, you must also supply a copy of the application to the local council and the local police. You must attach a copy of the Notice to the door of the premises through which you are running your business. In some circumstances, you may need to bring it to the attention of all residents within a 50-meter radius. The notice must be displayed for at least 30 days before proceeding to file the application.

Application

Once the notification period has lapsed, the applicant can proceed to file an application for a packaged liquor licence. The application should comprise of the:

  • application form;
  • community impact statement (category A);
  • prescribed application fee; and
  • associated documents as set out in the application form.

A community impact statement is a written summary of the potential harm (if any) that the packaged liquor licence would have on local stakeholders. In order to prepare a community impact statement, you have to consult with your local community and other key stakeholders. This will also help you to understand the views of your community to see if you should make any changes to your proposal to fit with community standards or minimise any negative impacts.

You must submit the above application package to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (NSW), the local council and the local police. You should ensure that your application has as much detail as possible so as to speed up the review process.

Key Takeaways

You need a packaged liquor licence if you intend to sell alcohol through a home delivery service. If you would like more information about applying for a liquor licence or if you require assistance in completing and submitting the same, get in touch with our liquor licence team on 1300 544 755.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Packaged Liquor Licence?

A packaged liquor license is required by anyone seeking to sell liquor (1) in sealed containers for consumption away from the licensed premises; or (2) wholesale to persons authorised to sell liquor. It is also required by anyone wanting to supply liquor (1) at any time on the licensed premises to the employees of the licensee; or (2) to customers only for the purpose of tasting.

Is My Business Eligible for a Packaged Liquor Licence?

Most businesses will be eligible for a packaged liquor license, except for service stations, takeaway shops and general stores.

What Are the Trading Hours of a Packaged Liquor Licence Business?

As a licencee, you can usually only sell alcohol between the hours of 5am to 10pm. However, you can seek an extension to your trading hours as part of the application. Most licencees must also be closed for at least six hours a day.

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