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Liquor Licensing

Liquor licencing has been a major legal issue in the hospitality industry for many years and recently it has become the subject of even more public discussion. This has led to significant changes in the laws governing pubs, bars, restaurants and public event management.

The requirements for obtaining and keeping a liquor licence are strict, but straightforward. With knowledgeable legal advice, your business can navigate the liquor laws beneficially, ensuring that you can operate securely.

With more than 20 years’ combined experience on the legal team, Cappello Rowe Lawyers are the commercial lawyers to turn to for advice and assistance in any situation relating to liquor licencing and its impact on your business.

Call Cappello Rowe Lawyers today on 02 8325 1520.


What is involved in obtaining a liquor licence?

In New South Wales, liquor licences are regulated by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, within the state’s Trade and Investment portfolio.

All licensees and staff of businesses which are seeking or have obtained a liquor licence must undertake training in the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), from an accredited course provider. It is not possible to take the nationally accredited online RSA course in New South Wales – only a classroom-taught certificate course is valid.

Businesses seeking a liquor licence must also understand that there are different types of licence available, depending on the scale and duration of alcohol service intended. For example, there are licences available for single events, such as functions or public gatherings, or longer-term licences for businesses such as pubs or restaurants. For detailed information on each type of licence, consult the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

What risks are involved in obtaining a liquor licence?

Alcohol is the cause of many social problems and violent incidents. Serving liquor on the premises of your business, or in connection to your business (for example, at a gathering or event that your business has organised), inherently means risking the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption, in your business’s name.

Being granted a liquor licence means that the owner and staff of a business are aware of the risks and have agreed to supply alcohol in a responsible manner, which includes refusing service to minors and to those who are intoxicated, creating a service environment in which potential harm is minimised, and taking steps to remove any customers who are affected by alcohol and are disturbing or harming others.

Businesses that serve alcohol may be liable for any harm that comes to customers because of excessive alcohol consumption. This is not restricted to violence but also to unintended physical harm. However, if a business can show that it has followed all regulations and taken all reasonable steps to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and to minimise potential harm, that is a strong argument for dismissing any allegations of neglect or irresponsibility.

Why choose Cappello Rowe Lawyers for advice on liquor licensing?

Cappello Rowe Lawyers understand the many demands that licences and accreditations of all kinds place on businesses. The legal team has extensive experience in representing and advising not only commercial operations but also the public sector, across regional New South Wales and now in Sydney, the state’s centre of public regulation. Licences exist to protect your business and inform you of your rights and responsibilities as much as demonstrating your social responsibility to your customers and the public. Your business probably will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your business does fulfil the terms of the licence.

However, your business may sometimes face challenges to its integrity and responsibility, which could be very damaging to your brand, reputation and profitability. Cappello Rowe Lawyers can offer you comprehensive advice and assistance if your business is subject to a public inquiry or breach-of-licence proceedings, or even simply if you are unsure of what a liquor licence may mean for your business.

Contact Cappello Rowe Lawyers about liquor licensing

Liquor licensing need not be a challenge or a disruption to your business, but can help diversify your operations and reach new customers. Cappello Rowe Lawyers can advise you on obtaining and implementing a liquor licence efficiently, effectively and, above all, safely, so that your business can enjoy the full benefits.

For advice on any aspect of liquor licensing in New South Wales, call Cappello Rowe Lawyers today on 02 8325 1520.