Liquor Licensing NSW

Are you complying with the liquor laws?

Do You Comply?

Failure to comply with the the liquor laws can lead to heavy fines and even a loss of your licence.

The extent of your obligations will depend on the type of licence you have, whether there are any authorisations in force and the conditions imposed on the licence.

For all licensees there are some fundamental requirements. It is important that all staff working in licensed venues are aware of these requirements. A lack of knowledge or understanding about the law will not serve as an excuse for non-compliance.


Compliance Manual

It’s a good idea to have a single manual available to all staff that contains hard copies of all essential documents you might be required to produce to Police or Authorised Liquor & Gaming Officers and that also contains helpful reminders and information for staff on how to maintain responsible standards of service.

We can create a manual specifically for your business that contains all the essential information to keep you on the right side of the law.

This hard-bound manual contains approximately 60 pages of useful information for managers and staff including a copy of your liquor licence and relevent licence conditions, your Plan of Management, floor plans showing your licensed area, reminders about signage, ID checking, guidelines on intoxication and conducting liquor promotions. Prices start at $299 for most on-premises licences. Contact us if you are interested.

The fundamentals


All licensees must have the 1L sign (“No Under 18s”) displayed at each bar or counter, or, if there is no bar or counter, at each entrance to the premises.

All licensees must also display their licence details so they can be easily read by someone standing outside the premises. That sign must include the name of the premises, the type of liquor licence held and the name of the licensee.

If you have additional authorisations or conditions, you may be required to display additional signage. Contact us to learn more.

Responsible service requirements

Anyone serving or supplying liquor on licensed premises must have an interim certificate showing they have completed a recognised RSA Course or a Competency Card issued by NSW Liquor & Gaming.

Staff must be able to produce their competency card (or certificate) if required by an authorised officer (Police or Liquor and Gaming inspector).

As licensee, you should sight the card or certificate of every staff member to verify they are current. It is also good practice to maintain a register that includes the expiry date to avoid their competency lapsing.

Underage drinking

It is vitally important that alcohol is not sold or supplied to anyone under the age of 18 while on the licensed premises.

Staff must be vigilant and should demand ID from anyone that looks 25 or under or if they suspect the person may be under 18.

If groups of young people are drinking together, ensure they are all able to produce ID and establish they are 18 or over.


As a licensee, you must not serve alcohol to anyone that is intoxicated. You must also not allow someone who is intoxicated to enter or remain on the licensed premises and heavy penalties apply.

Producing documents

You do not have to display your liquor licence, but you must be able to produce a copy of the licence document if required to do so by an authorised officer.

You should also have a Plan of Management and be able to produce it if requested to do so. Staff should also know where the Plan of Management is and be familiar with its contents.

If you do not have a Plan of Management, get in touch with us to find out why you should have one and how to get it.

Food and water

Free drinking water must be available whenever liquor is sold or supplied to anyone on the licensed premises.

It is also a legal requirement to have food available that is of a nature and quantity consistent with the responsible sale, supply and service of alcohol.

Trading hours

Your trading hours are included on your licence document. You will almost certainly have a six-hour closure period (most commonly 4am-10am) during which time liquor cannot be sold. Make sure you are only serving alcohol during authorised hours.

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Do you have an enquiry regarding liquor licensing in NSW? We are here to assist!

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