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Home > Liquor > Resources > Licence types

Licence types

There are 7 liquor licence categories in NSW.

Hotel licence (includes general bar hotel licence)
Club licence
Small bar licence
Packaged liquor licence
On-premises licence
Producer/wholesaler licence
Limited licence

Liquor licence freeze for parts of city of Sydney

A liquor licence freeze is active in the Kings Cross precinct and the Oxford St/Darlinghurst precinct. Click here for more information before applying for a new licence or a licence amendment in these areas.

Bars and alcohol sales in restaurants

Bars that do not propose to provide gaming or sell takeaway liquor can apply for either a general bar licence or a small bar licence. Where the primary product or service is the provision of entertainment to patrons, venues can apply for an on-premises licence.

Licensed restaurants can seek approval to serve alcohol without a meal, by applying for a Primary Service Authorisation. However the primary purpose of a restaurant cannot be the sale of alcohol. The law does not allow restaurants to trade as bars.

When opening a small bar you must first determine whether development consent is required for the proposed premises. It is recommended that you check with your local council.

Hotel licence

Hotel licences apply to premises where the primary purpose is the sale and supply of alcohol. This includes a variety of hotel venues (including accommodation hotels), as well as small and large bars.


> Hotel licence forms

Club licence

Club licences apply to registered clubs.

> Club licence forms

Small bar licence

A small bar licence allows liquor to be sold in a bar that is restricted to a maximum of 60 patrons.

Note for local consent authorities:

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has issued an advisory note, 'Planning for small bars' to guide councils on the new process for small bar applications.

The advisory note is available on the department's website at www.planning.nsw.gov.au under Local Planning / Other guidance on LEPS.

>Small bar forms

Packaged liquor licence

Packaged liquor licences will apply to liquor stores selling takeaway alcohol only.

> Packaged licence forms

On-premises licence

On-premises licences apply to a variety of purposes including accommodation venues, restaurants, catering services, vessels, tourism businesses, tertiary institutions, and public entertainment venues.

On-premises licences are very flexible.

> On-premises licence forms

Producer/wholesaler licence

Producer/wholesaler licences apply to wine producers, brewers, distillers, and wholesalers.

The licence allows both producers and wholesalers to sell liquor to other liquor licensees.

For wine producers, brewers and distillers, the licence also allows tastings (with a charge if desired), retail sales, and direct sales to the public at liquor industry shows and farmers' markets or fairs.

Wine producers, brewers and distillers may also apply for a drink-on premises authorisation to allow liquor to be sold for consumption on the premises in various settings.

> Producer / wholesaler licence forms

Limited licence

Limited licences will allow alcohol sales for consumption on the licensed premises at a function or multiple functions a special event and a trade fair.

> Limited licence forms