Find the right alcohol licence and apply
Find out which alcohol licence (liquor licence) applies to your business and how to apply.
Supplying alcohol at a new business or club
If you're planning to sell alcohol from a business or club, there are different alcohol licences that may apply – on-licence, off-licence and club licence.
On-licence – your customers will drink alcohol on the premises
An on-licence allows your business to sell or supply alcohol for customers to drink on the premises.
You need an on-licence if your business is a:
- tavern, pub, bar or nightclub
- restaurant, cafe or BYO restaurant
- vehicle that sells or supplies alcohol to passengers – for example, a ferry or train.
Off-licence – your customers will buy alcohol to drink elsewhere
An off-licence allows your business to sell, supply or deliver alcohol for customers to drink off your premises, including offering small free tastings.
You need an off-licence if your business is a:
- bottle store
- grocery store
- remote sales (for example, sales through a website).
Club licence – sell alcohol at a sport or social club
A club licence allows you to sell or supply alcohol to drink on the premises of a club (for example, a sports club) to:
- club members
- club members' guests
- members of clubs with reciprocal visiting rights.
Your club must be an incorporated society to be eligible for this type of licence.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may want more than one type of licence – for example, a hotel could have an on-licence and an off-licence.
Next step: Applying for a new alcohol licence
Supplying alcohol at an event
If you want to sell alcohol at a one-off event or series of events, you need a special licence. Alcohol may be included in the entry fee, ticket price, koha or sold over a bar.
Next step: Applying for a special licence
Taking over a licensed business
If you're buying an established business that sells alcohol, you need a temporary authority to continue selling alcohol while you apply for a new on-licence or off-licence.
Next step: Taking over a licensed business (temporary authority)