New licence applications

Requirements when applying for a liquor licence as per the Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act).

 

When a licence is granted, it is granted to a specified entity (the licensee). The licence allows only the licensee to sell liquor from a specified place (the licensed premises).

If the licensee wishes to sell the licence to another entity, then the applicant who wishes to purchase or be assigned the licence must apply to the department to take over the licence (transfer of licence application). It is important to note that settlement cannot take place until prior approval has been given by the licensing authority. Information regarding applications to transfer a liquor licence.

Approval can also be given by the licensing authority for the licensee to operate the licence at a place other than the licensed premises (removal of licence). Information regarding applications for the removal of a liquor licence.

 

Who may apply for the grant of a licence

Section 35 of the Act sets out who can make an application for a liquor licence. An application can be made by:

  • an individual person
  • a body corporate
  • an unincorporated body
  • two or more of the above, jointly

In respect of an application by a company, the details of any person who will occupy a position of authority as a director or shareholder in any shareholding company with an interest in the business under the licence is required to be approved and their name(s) must be stated on the application.

Who cannot apply for the grant of a licence

Section 34 of the Act sets out that applications cannot be granted if the applicant is:

  • bankrupt or has assigned his/her estate for the benefit of his/her creditors;
  • incapable of managing his/her affairs because of a mental disorder;
  • under sentence of imprisonment;
  • under receivership or official management, or is in liquidation (companies only);
  • disqualified from holding a licence, or holds a licence which has been suspended, as a result of previous disciplinary proceedings;
  • a juvenile (for example less than 18 years of age); and
  • a Commonwealth or State public servant (including employees of Crown instrumentalities), unless the licensing authority is satisfied that there is no conflict of interest between the applicant’s employment and the operation of the licence.

 

Applications that cannot be considered / granted

Section 36B of the Act provides that the licensing authority is not able to hear or determine an application for a new licence for a liquor store, tavern or hotel if the retail section of the proposed premises exceeds 400 m2 and an existing packaged liquor outlet with a retail section that exceeds 400 m2 is located within 5 kilometres (metropolitan) or 12 kilometres (regional).  The distances are calculated using the shortest route by road.  

In addition, section 36B(4) of the Act sets out that the licensing authority must not grant an application for a packaged liquor outlet of any size unless it is satisfied that local packaged liquor requirements cannot reasonably be met by existing packaged liquor premises in the locality in which the licensed premises are or will be situated.

Licence types

There are ten permanent licence categories:

  • Casino
  • Club and Club Restricted
  • Hotel, hotel restricted, tavern and tavern restricted
  • Liquor Store
  • Nightclub
  • Producer
  • Restaurant
  • Small Bar
  • Special Facility
  • Wholesaler

Licence types and trading hours

Special facility licences

Section 46 of the Act provides for the grant of a special facility licence for a prescribed purpose. The Act further provides that a special facility licence should not be granted if granting or varying a licence of another class, or imposing, varying or cancelling a condition on a licence of another class, or issuing an extended trading permit in respect of another class of licence, would achieve the purposes for which the special facility licence is sought.

The licensing authority may substitute an alternative type of licence where an applicant seeks the grant of a special facility licence, but in the view of the licensing authority a licence of another class would be adequate for the purpose. Furthermore, an existing special facility licence cannot be varied to such an extent that a licence of another class, with or without permits, would achieve the same purpose. Accordingly, the licensing authority may convert an existing special facility licence to a licence of another class.

Plans and specifications

Plans of the proposed premises are required to be lodged with the application in order for the licensing authority to define the area in which the sale, supply and the consumption of liquor will occur if the licence is granted (section 66).

Unless otherwise authorised, plans are required to conform with regulation 11 of the Liquor Control Regulations 1989. Floor plans are to be on at least A3 size paper or larger and drawn to a scale of 1:100. Plans, when lodged electronically, must be in PDF format. 

Plans and specifications

Public interest assessment

In the case of an application for the grant of a licence, the applicant may be required to demonstrate that the application is in the public interest, having regard to the likely health and social impacts on the community and sub-groups within the community.

The public interest assessment will require the applicant to satisfy the licensing authority that it is in the public interest for the application to be granted.

Where an applicant is lodging an application for an extended trading permit for ongoing extended hours at the same time as an application for the grant of a licence, a separate Public Interest Assessment (PIA) must be lodged for each application as the information and evidence in support of the extended trading permit will be different to that of the grant.

For further details on the public interest assessment requirements please refer to the Director's policy and PIA template form.

Public interest assessment policy

PIA Form 2

Advertising

The advertising requirements for the grant of a licence other than an occasional licence, are determined according to the class of licence being applied for and the manner of proposed trade. The maximum advertising period is for 14 days. Should you be required to advertise your application the templates and advertising instructions will be provided to you.

Harm minimisation

The application will be required to provide a copy of the House Management Policy, Code of Conduct and Management Plan, with the application.  For further information on these documents, refer to the Director’s Harm Minimisation policy.

Mandatory training requirements

Prior to the grant of an application for a liquor licence, all new applicants must complete an approved course of instruction in managing licensed premises and in the responsible service of alcohol (for instance Course in Management of Licensed Premises).

In addition, within four (4) weeks of commencing employment at the premises, or as otherwise determined by the licensing authority, any person who will be engaged in the sale, supply or service of liquor on proposed licensed premises will be required to successfully complete the nationally accredited Responsible Service of Alcohol unit of competency. In order to demonstrate compliance with the training of staff, licensees will be required to maintain a register detailing each staff member’s name and date of training, and retain a copy of the relevant training certificate(s). For more details on the training requirements, refer to policy guideline Mandatory Training.

Supervision and management

Section 100 of the Act requires that an approved manager must, unless the Director of Liquor Licensing determines otherwise, be present on the licensed premises at any time that the business is conducted at those premises. It is the obligation of the licensee to ensure that the business is personally supervised at all times by a person holding a valid Approved Manager ID card.

Applications for approval as either a Restricted Manager or an Unrestricted Manager must be lodged online by the person that will be appointed as a manager at the premises. For more details refer to Managers at licensed premises policy or the lodgement guide.

Approved managers lodgement guide

Lodging the application

 

To enable more efficient processing of your application applicants are strongly encouraged lodge applications online through the online portal. Further assistance to complete your application online may be found in the online lodgement guide.

Should you not be able to lodge an application through our portal, a paper application kit can be requested on 61 8 6551 4888 or rglindustryservices@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Online lodgement guide

Application and licence fees

The application fee must be lodged with the application. Please refer to the fee schedule available upon request or on the department’s website. Please note that the application cannot be examined until the fee is received. Generally, the application fee is not refundable, even if the application is refused or withdrawn.

Licence fees

An annual licence fee is payable prior to the grant of the licence and on 1 January each year. The licence fee is based on the licence type and any extended trading permits of an on-going nature that are attached to the licence.

Fees and charges

Extended trading permits

The licensee may apply for an extended trading permit (ETP) for an indefinite period in accordance with section 60 of the Act. For further information refer to the extended trading permit information bulletin and lodgement guide and the information above relating to the Public Interest Assessment submissions. There is no fee for ETP applications when lodged with a grant application

Extended trading permits

Disclaimer

This information is designed to provide authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered, and with the understanding that the Director is not passing legal opinion or interpretation or other professional advice. The information is provided on the understanding that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its contents.

Page reviewed 29 July 2019