Special Circumstances Licence


Special Circumstances Licence


A special circumstances licence authorises the licensee to sell liquor for consumption on or off the licensed premises in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence.

An application for a special circumstances licence can be made when no other class of licence suits the proposed style of business with or without an Extended trading authorisation (PDF 83KB) and the proposed business would be substantially prejudiced if the applicant’s trading rights were limited to those under some other class of licence.

An application for a special circumstances licence must include proposed operating conditions (eg consumption on the premises, consumption off the premises).


There are some circumstances where you don’t need a liquor licence, such as retirement villages and aircrafts.

When you don’t need a liquor licence (PDF 118KB)

Trading hours

A special circumstances licence allows the licensee to trade on any day between 5am and midnight.

Extended trading authorisation (ETA)

If a licensee wishes to trade on any day between midnight and 5am they may apply for an extended trading authorisation (PDF 82KB)

Generally trading hours under a special circumstances licence may be a combination of standard trading hours and extended trading hours depending on the type of business operating under the licence. The trading hours sought must be appropriate for the type of business, and must be justified by the applicant.


An applicant for a special circumstances licence must satisfy the licensing authority that:

  • A licence of no other category (with or without an extended trading authorisation) could adequately cover the kind of business proposed by the applicant
  • The proposed business would be substantially prejudiced if the applicant’s trading rights were limited to those possible under a licence of some other category

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.

The applicant must also show that the operation of the licence would not cause undue offence, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience to those who work, worship, or reside in the area or that the safety or welfare of children attending kindergarten or school in the vicinity of the proposed licensed premises would not be prejudiced.

Applicants need to satisfy the licensing authority that they are fit and proper persons to hold a licence and will need to complete a Personal Information Declaration (PDF 120KB) (PID). 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 special circumstances 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 special circumstances 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.

The applicant

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.

How to apply

An application must include the following:

  1. Completed online application form or completed new special circumstances licence application form (PDF 267KB)
  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.