Restaurant Licence


Restaurant Licence


A restaurant licence authorises the consumption of liquor and the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises at any time with or ancillary to a genuine meal. Liquor Licensing Act 1997 defines a meal as a genuine meal eaten while seated at a table.

A restaurant licence may also authorise the following:

Supply of liquor without a meal

This is a condition that allows the sale of liquor for consumption by a patron seated at a table or attending a function where food is provided. This condition allows a person to consume liquor while not consuming a meal. For example, a group of people go into the premises and order a meal, however, two of them do not want to eat, but would like to have a glass of wine.

  • As long as the restaurant licence has a Section 34(1)(c) authorisation then those people can consume liquor as long as they remain seated at a table; or
  • If a group books the premises for a function, for example a cocktail party, then the licensee can serve liquor to people who have been invited to the function provided that the licence has a Section 34(1)(c) authorisation.

BYO with meals

A person may bring liquor onto the licensed premises with the consent of the licensee to consume with or ancillary to a meal provided by the licensee on the licensed premises. The person can then take the unconsumed portion of that liquor from the premises when they leave.

  • However any liquor sold or supplied by the licensee for consumption on the licensed premises must be consumed on the premises and cannot be removed from the premises.
  • Corkage may be charged at a fee determined by the licensee.

Trading hours

A restaurant licence allows the licensee to trade at any time, provided the sale and consumption of liquor occurs with or ancillary to a meal.

However, in some cases trading hours may be restricted by a condition on the licence. Trading hours may also be subject to local council consents so it is advisable to check with your local council.

  • A section 34(1)(c) authorisation only allows trade (without a meal) until midnight Monday to Sunday, unless the licence also has an extended trading authorisation.

Other authorisations

An applicant for a restaurant licence or an existing licence holder may apply to Consumer and Business Services for any of the consents listed below.

Extended trading authorisation (ETA)

If a licensee wishes to trade (without a meal) between midnight and 5 am Monday to Sunday, the licensee may apply for an Extended trading authorisation (PDF 83KB).

Prescribed entertainment consent

If a licensee intends to provide prescribed entertainment on the licensed premises, the licensee must apply for a Prescribed entertainment consent (PDF 256KB).

An Entertainment Consent will only be granted for a restaurant licence provided the licensee can show that entertainment is ancillary to the primary business, being the supply of meals.

Extension of trading area

If a licensee intends to trade in an area adjacent to the licensed premises, then an Application for an extension of trading area (PDF 184KB) is required for example drinking and/or dining on the footpath adjacent to the premises.


It is a condition of a restaurant licence that the primary and predominant activity must be the supply of meals to the public at the premises at all times that the premises are trading.

Consumer and Business Services must be satisfied that the premises are suitable to be licensed. For example, the premises must have sufficient toilet facilities for patrons and comply with other building regulations and planning approvals.

An applicant must satisfy the licensing authority that they are fit and proper persons to hold a licence and will need to complete a Personal Information Declarations (PDF 120KB). Relevant knowledge, skills and experience, the results of a police check and creditworthiness will be taken into consideration.


If an application is made for a restaurant licence where the proposed premises are incomplete the licensing authority may grant a certificate subject to any conditions considered appropriate.

The licensing authority will grant the restaurant licence once the applicant can satisfy the authority that the conditions have been met and the premises have been completed in accordance with the plans lodged.

How to apply

Applicants may wish to contact a solicitor, relevant industry association or any other person approved by the Commissioner before making an application.

  • When lodging an application all the people involved in the business, for example, all partners must be included on the application.
  • If the business is a company the application should be made in the company name. Where an individual runs the business, the individual is the applicant.

All documentation such as leases and finance agreements must be in the name of the applicant.

All the relevant forms and other documentation will need to be lodged meeting the minimum requirements when making an application.

Lodgement guide (PDF 280KB) – information on making an application for a liquor licence

What to include

An application must include the following:

  1. Completed online iApply New Licence application form or completed new restaurant licence application form (PDF 78KB)
  2. Application fee. Note that the full application fee will be calculated for you once the application form is completed. Fees and charges (PDF 130KB)
  3. Two (2) plans (PDF 393KB) of the proposed premises to be uploaded with the application form
  4. If the applicant is a company – ASIC search extract and/or share certificates detailing current directors and shareholders of the company to be uploaded with the application form.
  5. Additional documents are required to be uploaded with the application form at the time of making your application, these could include:
    • passport photos
    • council consent
    • landlord consent
  6. If the persons listed on the form have been previously approved by Consumer and Business Services (and not expired for more than six (6) months), you will need to supply your identification number. If you do not have pre-approval, each person listed will need to complete a Personal Identification Declaration (PID) later in this application. They will also need to supply two (2) passport size photographs.

Police and creditworthiness checks may take up to six (6) weeks to complete. If those requiring approval reside interstate or overseas, this may take longer. A hearing will not proceed until all of these documents have been received.

Further requirements

Lodge at least seven days before hearing date

The following documents must be lodged at least seven (7) days before the date of the hearing or your application may be delayed.

  • Proof that the application has been advertised:
    • provide details of the date that the notice was displayed on the licensed premises/relevant land
    • provide proof that any advertising direction has been complied with.
  • Evidence of development approval
  • Any other necessary Council consents
  • Details of finance:
    • copy of a bank or loan statement (if the applicant has borrowed money to finance the application)
  • Certificate of registration of business name in the name of the applicant
  • Copy of certificate of title.

Other documentation required only if applicable

  • If the applicant does not own the freehold:
    • executed copy of lease agreement or other evidence of tenure or
    • a letter of consent from the landlord
  • If the applicant is a partnership, and a partnership agreement has been executed:
    • partnership agreement
  • Front page and Schedule of Beneficiaries relating to any trusts
    • in the case of a unit trust, the number of units held by each unit holder and whether they are held for someone else
  • Any other relevant approvals, consents or exemptions.