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 min read

How to Apply for a Liquor Licence in Victoria

With the highest profit margins in the hospitality industry, a liquor licence can be a game-changer for venue managers.

Alcohol sales are known to have the highest profit margins (sometimes as high as 80%!), which is why a liquor licence can be a game changer for venue owners. Whether you’re in the process of opening a restaurant or are looking to obtain a liquor licence and start selling alcohol on your premises, this is definitely an avenue where you can grow your restaurant’s revenue. Stat. 

Let’s run you through what you need to know.

What are the benefits of having a liquor licence in Victoria?

The Australian market has a high demand for alcohol, with alcohol retailers turning over a record-breaking $15.6 billion in sales in 2020 — an increase of nearly 27% YoY. 

With a markup of about four times the wholesale cost (depending on which state you’re in), the profit margin of liquor sits lightyears above that of food. Not to mention, alcohol has an extremely long shelf life, meaning waste is minimised and more money is left going into your pocket.

Plus, with the ability to cater to a wider range of patrons and endless opportunities to upsell (insert Melbourne’s always-trending boozy brunch scene), it seems a liquor licence might just be what you’re missing. 

So, you’d like to apply for a liquor licence in Victoria?

Here are a few things to consider first

It’s important to know that applying for a liquor licence in Victoria comes with a price. The application fee for a new licence is $480.40—or $258.10 for a BYO licence—which is due when you submit your application and is non-refundable.

Planning permission from your Local Government Authority is the next thing to take a look at to ensure that the activities you’re undertaking are appropriate for the area in which your venue is located. E.g. requesting a licence for a nightclub in an area where nightclubs are not permitted. So, reach out to your Local Government Authority to find out more information about obtaining a planning permit. Psst! This isn’t required for BYO permits.

Deciding which liquor licence is appropriate

There are four main types of liquor licences in Victoria that you can apply for.

Full club licence: This allows customers to drink on the premises and to take away. Trading hours include all day Monday to Saturday and 10am - 11pm on Sunday.

Restricted club licence: This allows customers to drink on the premises only. There are no set trading hours, so venues should specify their desired hours in their application form.

Renewable limited club licence: Permits alcohol supply for drinking on the premises or via a point of sale (e.g. a canteen or marquee). Once again, there are no set trading hours, so venues should specify their desired hours in their application form.

BYO permit: Allows customers to bring their own alcohol to be consumed on the premises only. There are no set trading hours, so venues should specify their desired hours in their application form.

So you’ve decided on which liquor licence you’d like to apply for—congrats! It’s important to do your own research for the location and type of venue you’re opening (or already run); but when you’re ready, you can apply here.