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6 Questions to ask yourself applying for a liquor licence

Applying for a Liquor licence can be a very involved and lengthy process. In Victoria, licensees must adhere to strict rules and regulations. When you make the decision to apply for a liquor licence, it is important to be thorough with your research and have an in-depth understanding of how and when your liquor licence is to be used.

Here are 6 questions you should ask yourself before applying for a liquor licence

1. What kind of licence do you need?  

There are a variety of licence types available and although they are regulated under the same Act (Liquor Control Reform Act 1998) each have their own rules, conditions and regulations. Ask yourself the following questions in order to determine which kind of licence you need:

  • Will the licence be temporary or permanent?
  • Will your premises be a bar, a restaurant or both?
  • Will you have loud music playing?
  • Do you need a club licence?
  • Will your premise only need a BYO permit?
  • Will you need a late night licence (trade past 1am)?
  • Will the alcohol be consumed at the place of purchase, or taken off the premises?
  • How many people do you want on the premises?

2. How much time and money are you willing to spend to obtain and maintain your licence? 

Applying for your liquor licence in Victoria can become a costly and sometimes lengthy exercise without the right guidance and support. You should consider working with an organisation that has a high degree of knowledge in liquor laws and licensing. Solicitors can be very expensive in comparison to the services of businesses like On Tap LiquorConsulting.


3. What sort of signage do you need to display? 

You will need to factor in that signage will need to be displayed at your premises once it is licensed, and not only that but it needs to be displayed in a manner that is considered easily visible to the public. Your posters must also be approved by the VCGLR and only in A4 size colour.

The three main posters you need are titled:

  • Intoxicated? Drunk? Disorderly?
  • Under 18? No Supply
  • Under 18? No Entry.

 Depending on the use of your liquor licence, there are also other signs you may need.

4. Will you receive any objections to your liquor licence

You may receive objections to your liquor licence. Make sure you prepare yourself to face any possible objections. Objections to a licence may be based on the following:

  • Harm minimisation
  • Community concerns
  • Amenity issues

Similar businesses nearby cannot object for the reason of close competition. Remember, it is not unusual to receive objections, but they need to be dealt with professionally and in a timely manner.

 5. How long are you willing to wait? 

The timeline for obtaining a liquor licence varies and depends on submitting all relevant documents on time. Any objections that may arise and dealing with those objections as well as the turnaround from the VCGLR will also affect how long it takes to obtain your licence. Services such as On Tap Liquor Consulting can manage the entire process to ensure detailed documents are submitted on time and correctly. This makes the application process of a liquor licence smoother, with faster completion times. Generally, an application to the VCGLR, be it a transfer of a liquor licence or other application, could take up to 6 weeks or longer, so planning ahead is crucial.

 6. What are the local council regulations relating to the sale, service and consumption of alcohol? 

Before applying for your liquor licence you will need to check with the local council to ensure that your licence  adheres to any local laws related to the consumption of liquor. Local councils also have the right to place restrictions on how your premises is used. Make sure you check for extra conditions such as music noise levels or the need to have patron management plans. Obtaining a current planning permit from council, if there is one, is important as the planning permit is what allows the conditions of the liquor licence and the use of the premises.

Apply for your liquor licence, the easy way

Save time and money by getting it done right, the first time. On Tap Liquor Consulting provide a tailored experience to current and potential licensees in all aspects related to the liquor industry in Victoria.  With over 35 years of combined regulatory, compliance and government expertise surrounding the regulation of Victorian Liquor Laws, you can be sure applying for, and obtaining your liquor licence will be a smooth process. Contact On Tap Liquor today.