Pubs, hotels and taverns are generally the type of businesses that apply for a general licence.
A general licence allows you to supply liquor for consumption both on and off your licensed premises.
Apply for your licence
To apply please download and fill out the General licence application kit. The application kit provides instructions on how to complete your application.
Please lodge your liquor licence applications at least 8 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 objections which may be raised.
Information needed in your application
As you prepare your application you 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
Before applying for your liquor licence you should contact the relevant local about their planning requirements for your proposed business.
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.
Standard trading hours for a general licence are:
- 7 am to 1 am the following morning Monday to Saturday (excluding ANZAC Day and Good Friday)
- 10 am to 1 am the following morning Sunday
- 12 noon to 1 am on ANZAC Day and Good Friday.
More information on public holiday trading restrictions is available.
Extended trading hours
It is possible to trade after 1 am. If you wish to trade after 1 am you will need to apply for a late night general licence. The Late night trading hours page has more information. The kit and form to apply for this licence is on this page.
There is currently a freeze on late night licence applications in the following council areas:
- Port Phillip
As a licensee you need to complete and hold various training certificates. Please see the Responsible Service of Alcohol training page for more information.
Right to use the premises
For a licence to be issued, you need to show you have the right to occupy and are able 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
Your red line plan defines the area where alcohol can be supplied. This plan needs to be included in your application. The Red line plan page has information on how to create and change your 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.
There are costs associated with applying for your liquor licence. Please see the Liquor licence application fees page for information.
When you have your licence
If your application is successful you are obligated to abide by the terms of your liquor licence.
Information on how to be compliant with the terms of your liquor licence is in Licensee obligations section.
You can also change, transfer or give up your licence.
Reviewed 02 April 2023