Sporting or community clubs are generally the type of business that apply for a club liquor licence.
You can apply for a:
Each licence type is outlined below. Apply for the one that best suits your needs.
Apply for your licence
Please lodge your liquor licence applications at least 9–11 weeks in advance. The time taken to process your application will vary depending on a range of factors including the complexity of the application and any which may be raised.
Full club licence
A full club licence authorises a club to supply alcohol to:
- club members to drink on the premises or take away
- guests of members and authorised gaming visitors to drink on the premises only
- people attending a function or club event for drinking on the premises only.
An authorised gaming visitor is someone who:
- is not a member of the club, and
- lives more than 5 kilometres away from the club (if in metropolitan Melbourne) or more than 10 kilometres from the club (if in regional Victoria).
To apply for a full club licence, download and complete the full club licence application kit below. The form provides instructions on how to complete your application.
Restricted club licence
A restricted club licence authorises a club to supply alcohol to:
- club members to drink on the premises
- guests of members to drink on the premises only
- people attending a function or club event for drinking on the premises.
To apply for a restricted club licence, download and complete the restricted club licence application kit below. The form provides instructions on how to complete your application.
Renewable limited licence
A renewable licence authorises a club to supply alcohol:
- to drink on the premises only (take away alcohol is not permitted)
- from a point of sale during sporting events for drinking outside the licensed premises (for example, from a temporary bar in the stands while watching a match).
If you wish to supply alcohol from a point of sale during a sporting event for drinking outside the licenced premises (for example, from a temporary bar in the stands while watching a match), you must have written approval from the landholder.
In choosing to apply for this licence, your club’s sale of alcohol must be substantially limited in nature or scope.
Information needed in your application
As you prepare your application you may need to gather the following information:
- local council planning permission
- confirmation of trading hours
- compliance with required training
- red-line plan
- patron capacity declaration
- declaration of right to occupy premises.
Local council planning permission
Your council will be able to guide you in what they need and the suitability of your business for the local area and location.
In your liquor licence application to us, you need to provide one of the following from your council:
- a planning permit
- copy of an application for a planning permit
- evidence that a planning permit is not required to supply liquor. This can be a letter from the local council (or responsible planning authority) or a copy of the relevant planning scheme.
Authorised trading hours for full club and restricted club licences are:
- any time Monday to Saturday
- 10am to 11pm Sunday
- 12 noon to 11pm ANZAC Day and Good Friday.
There are no set trading hours for a renewable limited club licence. Applicants should specify the hours they desire on the application form.
Right to use the premises
For a licence to be issued, you need to show you have the right to operate out of your intended business location.
This is called a right to occupy the premises and it can be demonstrated by:
- your lease agreement
- proof that you own the property
- another legal arrangement.
Include your declaration of the right to occupy your premises as a part of your application.
Red line plan
Maximum patron capacity
Include in your application one of the following documents to show your venue’s maximum patron capacity:
- the most recently issued planning permit which contains a maximum patron capacity
- a copy of an occupancy permit showing a prescribed patron capacity
- a report from a registered building surveyor.
When you have your licence
If your application is successful you are obligated to abide by the terms of your liquor licence.
Clubs that share premises
Clubs that share facilities such as clubrooms, function areas and sporting fields have licence options available to them.
If your clubs amalgamate to form a new joint entity you can apply for a new licence that will be held by the new entity. This will also surrender your existing licence/s. To apply, download the amalgamated club licence application kit.
The Victorian Government recognises the importance of sporting, recreational and social clubs to local communities. Many clubs share facilities such as clubrooms, function areas and sporting fields.
Traditionally, a single club structure has offered organisations the greatest amount of autonomy in managing their affairs. This type of structure has allowed clubs to:
- attract new members
- manage finances
- maintain facilities
- fulfil legal responsibilities, and
- meet increased community expectations.
It also allows clubs to share premises on a seasonal basis such as a football club in winter with a cricket club in summer.
The requires a single licensee or nominee to be responsible for a liquor licence. When 2 or more clubs share the same premises over a 12 month period, they each hold their own liquor licence and both pay the costs of an annual liquor licence.
In Victoria, there has been growth in amalgamated community clubs as a way to maintain viability. For clubs, amalgamation can provide financial savings and it can assist with time consuming administrative and governance tasks.
Clubs interested in reducing the cost of holding a liquor licence may like to consider the following options:
- Option 1 - Amalgamate the clubs that jointly use the facilities. A number of clubs are now taking this step to more efficiently manage a range of activities and responsibilities, including those relating to the supply of liquor.
- Option 2 - Amalgamate club social committees to establish a separate "social club" that controls the use of club facilities, including the holding of a single liquor licence. The combined social club would receive all monies associated with the supply of alcohol and would then have to create their own rules as to how the funds were dispersed to the associated sporting clubs.
- Option 3 - One club is the licensee for the facility. That club is responsible for the supply of liquor and all related requirements under the licence, regardless of whether the use of the facility is by its club members, authorised visitors, or guests of club members. They would also be responsible for the behaviour of persons who are club members, authorised visitors or guests of club members, and any amenity issues. Serious penalties apply for offences related to licence breaches.
All of these options should be carefully considered, particularly in terms of organisational structures, profit sharing and legal arrangements, such as leases with local councils.
It is up to the individual club to decide how to structure their organisation. Liquor Control Victoria cannot advise you as to the most appropriate administrative arrangement for your club, but staff are happy to discuss the options available.
Reviewed 06 September 2023