Bars and nightclubs are generally the type of business that apply for an on-premises licence.
An on-premises licence allows you to sell alcohol to drink on your licensed premises without also being required to serve meals. It does not allow you to sell takeaway alcohol.
Depending on your business, other licence types may better suit you including:
- a general liquor licence if you wish to allow both on and off-premises sales and consumption of liquor
- a restaurant and cafe licence if your primary business is offering meals for sale and consumption on your premises at all times you're open
You may also wish to review the on-premises (live music venue) liquor licence or sexually explicit entertainment venues for more information on these topics.
Apply for your licence
To apply please download and fill out the On-premises liquor licence application kit below. 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.
- copy of newspaper advertisement.
Local council planning permission
Before applying for your liquor licence you should contact your 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 an on-premises liquor 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 on 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 on-premise licence. This page has the application form and information kit needed to apply for this licence.
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.
For more information download the fact sheet below.
There are costs associated with applying for your liquor licence. Please see the Licence application fees and charges page for information.
When you have your licence
If your application is successful you are then obligated to abide by the terms of your liquor licence.
Information on how to be compliant is in the Licensees obligations section.
You can also change, transfer or give up your licence.
Reviewed 02 April 2023