Liquor Licensing

The sale and supply of alcohol in Queensland is regulated by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation under the Liquor Act 1992 (Qld).

If you run a business or are involved in a not-for-profit organisation, and wish to sell or provide alcohol you will, in most cases, require a liquor or wine licence. The nature and operations of your business or organisation will determine the type of licence necessary, the requirements for obtaining and conditions for holding a licence, and the relevant application and renewal fees.

The following are typical licence types that may be held in Queensland:

  • Commercial hotel licence – allowing the sale of alcohol for consumption on or off the premises, generally for the conduct of a hotel or tavern.
  • Commercial other licence:
    • Subsidiary on-premises licence – for on-premises consumption of liquor where the sale of alcohol is a secondary function of the business operations, such as a restaurant, café, motel, theatre, amusement park or function centre.
    • Subsidiary off-premises licence – where a business sells alcohol for off-premises consumption as a secondary function of the enterprise, for example a florist or business that sells gift baskets containing liquor.
  • Bar licence – where the main business activity is selling liquor for consumption on licensed premises which sits a maximum of 60 patrons.
  • Industrial canteen licence – where the main business function is the selling of alcohol to employees and guests in remote industry locations (where there is no permanent residential population, such as a mine site).
  • Producer wholesaler licence – typically for a brewery or distillary where the main business function is either production and sale of liquor for consumption on or off a licensed premises (tastings and takeaways), or the wholesale sale of liquor to other licensees (bottle shops) for consumption off the licensed premises. The licence also allows sale of liquor at certain promotional events.

Other licence types include:

  • Commercial special facility licence;
  • Community club licence / community other licence;
  • Nightclub licence;
  • Wine licence – wine producer and wine merchant licences;
  • Licence to sell alcohol on-line – within Queensland or outside of Queensland.

Compliance and conditions

Holders of a liquor licence are responsible for ensuring they understand and comply with the legislative requirements under the relevant liquor laws as well as a range of other laws that may be applicable to their licence type. For example, licensees and permit holders of licensed premises must also comply with provisions under gaming, security, fire and emergency and building fire safety regulations.

Appropriate documentation and signage must be displayed at certain venues and certifications such as Responsible Service of Alcohol held by employees.

Appropriate strategies must be in place to mitigate occupational health and safety, and public liability risks that are inherent within the industry.

A licence is a valuable commodity to businesses operating in the hospitality and entertainment industry, and licence holders must be vigilant in their operations. Facing an offence under the Liquor Act can cause significant disruption and financial implications for your business.

Our liquor licensing team can assist in identifying and applying for the appropriate liquor licence for your entity, advise on the relevant laws and compliance requirements, provide guidance to minimise risk, and assist in responding to offences under the Liquor Act or other regulations.

Key Contacts

Graham Dutton