Wholesale Liquor Merchant’s Licence


Wholesale Liquor Merchant’s Licence


A wholesale liquor merchant’s licence authorises the sale of liquor on licensed premises to a liquor merchant at any time for consumption off the licensed premises during the authorised trading hours.

The licensee is also permitted to sell or supply liquor by way of sample for consumption on the licensed premises.

Where the licensee operates from a home office, Consumer and Business Service suggest that the applicant speak with the local council first to see what their development and planning approvals permit.

The licence also permits the licensee to sell liquor at any time through direct sales transactions. If liquor is to be delivered to an address in South Australia, it must be delivered between the hours of 8am and 9pm on any day.

Trading hours

A wholesale liquor merchant’s licence allows the licensee to trade between 8am and 9pm on any day.


When delivering the liquor, the licensee must ensure that the liquor is:

  • not delivered to unattended premises (as this increases the risk of accessibility to minors)
  • delivered to the purchaser or a person nominated by the purchaser.

In either case the person must be over the age of 18 (if there is any doubt about the age of the person, identification must be requested).


A wholesale liquor merchant’s licence is subject to the following conditions

  • liquor must not be sold to a purchaser (other than a liquor merchant) in an aggregate quantity of less than 4.5 litres; and
  • at least 90 per cent of the licensee’s gross turnover from the sale of liquor in each financial year (excluding sales of liquor to the licensee’s own employees and sales for the delivery of liquor outside Australia) must be derived from the sale of liquor to liquor merchants.

The application will require advertising.


An applicant for a wholesale liquor merchant’s licence or an existing licence holder can apply to Consumer and Business Services for any of the following exemptions:

Responsible person

An approved responsible person is required to be on the licensed premises during operating times. However, section 97(2) of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 allows for an exemption or conditional exemption from this requirement.

When determining whether an exemption is appropriate, the licensing authority must be satisfied as to the limited scope of the business.

Dispatch of liquor from licensed premises

A licensee must dispatch liquor from the licensed premises. However, the licensing authority can give an exemption from this requirement. An example of this is where the licensed premises is an office and liquor is delivered from the warehouse where it is stored.


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.

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 Declaration (PDF 120KB).

Relevant knowledge, skills and experience, the results of a police check and creditworthiness will be taken into consideration.

How to Apply

Applicants may wish to contact a solicitor, relevant industry association or any other person approved by the Liquor and Gambling 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.
  • Once the minimum requirements and documents have been received by Consumer and Business Services, applicants will be informed of the hearing date for the 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 complete new wholesale liquor merchant licence application (PDF 158KB)
  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.
  • Copy of certificate of title.

Other documentation required (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: