A hoteliers licence authorizes the licensee to sell liquor for consumption on the licensed premises and for consumption off licensed premises.


Under the Liquor Act 1982 (NSW) the Licensing Court is able to grant new hotelier licenses but subject to a strict test of need. The applicant has to satisfy the Court of the need for an additional hotel in the neighborhood and objectors have a right to present evidence again the application.

The court must be satisfied that an existing hoteliers license is available at a reasonable market price for removal to those premises or proposed premises.


Under the Liquor Licensing Art 1985 the hotelier is allowed to sell liquor on licensed premises for consumption on or off the premises with a Category "A" hotel licence.


Under the Liquor Control Art 1987 (Vic) a licence is based on the concept of primary purpose, which differs for each licence type:

  1. Residential: the provision of accommodation (at least 20 bedrooms).

  2. General: Glass 1: the provision of liquor for consumption on and off the premises

  3. General : Class : the provision of liquor for consumption on the premises only.


If residential accommodation is not part of a hotel proposal and in the opinion of the controlling body not necessary in that locality, the applicant may apply for dispensation from this requirement. The premises must have adequate sanitary accommodation and facilities for the service of meals.

Carparking although desirable, is not mandatory. However, it will probably be required by the local council/authority as a condition of the development approval for the new hotel. A hoteliers licence allows the hotelier to sell liquor by retail only and a separate license is not required for sales in the bottle department as this is part of the licensed premises.



The basic hours under a hoteliers licence are:

Mondays-Saturdays: Between 10am and 11pm.

Sundays: Noon and 10pm.

These hours can be varied by the Board as follows:

Mondays-Saturdays: Not before 5am or for a total period not in excess of 14 hours.

Sunday: Not before 10am or after 10pm or for a total period not in excess of 10 hours.


The Ordinary Trading Hours as follows:

Mondays-Saturdays: Between7am and 11pm

Sunday: Between 10am and 11pm


An application for a licence is to be made on the necessary forms and should include an affidavit of personal particulars.


The application and plans for the proposed hotel are forwarded to the licensing Police who will prepare a report for the Licensing court before whom the application is heard. Grounds of objection are specified in the Act and include the fitness of the applicant, proximity to schools and churches, the effect on the quiet and good order of the neighbourhood and other grounds based on public interest.

The annual fee is 10% of liquor purchases for the current assessment period.


An applicant for a new licence must establish that the licence is necessary to provide off the needs of the pubic in that locality having regard to other licensed premises in the locality. The annual licence fee is 11% of liquor purchases (low alcohol purchases are nil).


Applicants for new and transferred licenses need to satisfy the Chief Executive Officer that they have an adequate knowledge and undemanding of their responsibilities under the Liqour Control Act 1987. This may require the prior completion of an approved training course. The Commission may also disqualify a person from having any connection with the ownership, management and/or administration of a licence or permit.

An application for a new licence is accepted on payment of a set fee. If approved,the first licence fee is then due, which is 11% of the estimated liquor purchases over a full year. The right to trade is conditional on the payment of a licence/permit fee in advance, on 31 December of each year.

The renewal fee is calculated at 11% of the gross amount paid or payable by the licensee for liquor purchases over the previous financial year (ie to 30 June last) excluding low alcohol beer and wine. Licences are renewed automatically on payment of the fee.

The exceptions are:

Annual Licence fees may be paid in full or by quarterly instalments with interest calculated at 10% of the last 3 instalments due; the interest is payable with the first instalment.



A variation of trading hours to 3 am may be obtained for premises which have a dining room or a room set permanently and primarily for dining and which holds a minimum of 150 persons.


Trading beyond Ordinary Trading Hours is subject to a separate application for an annual Extended Hours permit, which may be granted by the Commission, subject to terms and conditions which are endorsed on the licence.


A separate permit is required to authorize entertainment on hotel premises, The hotel must comply with one of three standards and the licensed premises must have adequate fire safety precautions.



This licence is required for the operation of a Bottle Department or Liquor store.

An Off-Licence (Retail) authorizes a licensee to sell liquor by way of retail purchase for consumption off the premises. For example, a liquor store, drive in bottle shop or a mixed business.

"Liquor' includes beer, wines and spirits. This licence is difficult to obtain and the applicant must satisfy the Court of the need for another licensed outlet in the subject area. Such controls promote a quasi area monopoly and raises the value of an existing liquor store.

It is usual for licensees of existing hotels and liquor stores in the area to object to a new off licence retail on the grounds that the needs of the public in the neighbourhood are being met by the existing facilities. Other grounds of objection provided by the Act include the fitness of the applicant, proximity to schools and churches, and the effect on the quiet and good order of the neighborhood.

The main issues considered by the court are the population of the neighborhood, shopping facilities, the number of other liquor outlets in the neighborhood and as a consequence, the inconvenience and hardship experienced by residents in the neighborhood in obtaining liquor supplies.


It is necessary for the applicant to be in "bona fide" occupation of the premises in respect of which the application is made. Whilst it is also necessary to have approval in the for of a development application from local council it is not essential that the approval be obtained prior to the application being dealt with by the court.


The basic hours for "off licence retail" are:

Monday-Saturday: 8 am to 8pm and may be varied but not to exceed 12 hours in the day or after 8pm or before 6am.

Sunday: 12 noon and 8pm. Can be varied but not to exceed 8 hours in the day or to permit trading before 10am or after 8pm


It is usual for a licence to be granted conditional on the premises being completed substantially in accordance with the plans lodged and approved by the court. The licensing police will prepare a report for the court on the proposed premises and whether or not the applicant is a suitable person for a licence. The Police are also responsible for the enforcement of the Act



For the retail and disposal of liquor in sealed containers bottles or cans for consumption on the premises.



Cost of a new off licence retail is $20 000 or as determined by the Court. Renewal fees are 10% of liquor purchases for the year 1 July to 30 June. The fee is paid by 2 instalments.


Retail Liquor Merchant; 11% of all normal alcohol sold to unlicensed persons. Low alcohol is nil.



All licensees mus keep a liquor purchases register for 5 years however in practice, hoteliers' records are usually unreliable.


Prescribed records relating to liquor transactions must be kept and retained for 6 years.


Every licensee must maintain a Liquor Purchases Register. Details of all liquor purchases incurred in the operation of the business must be entered by the licensee. Producers and distributors must also maintain records of all transactions with retailers and the general public. The Register is a record for the annual statutory declaration of liquor purchases, which is the basis for the Commission's assessors to calculate the licence fee. The Register must be available at all times to officers of the Commission.


Other licenses are required by the hotelier. For example, in NSW a shop license from the Department of Industrial Relations and a tobacco license from the Business Franchise Licences Branch.