Apply for a liquor licence

You need a liquor licence or be registered to sell or supply alcohol in the Northern Territory (NT).

You can apply for a liquor licence as any of the following:

  • individual
  • registered company
  • partnership.

Before you start

Get all of your attachments together and work out which liquor authority you need.

You will need to identify at least one nominee. Your nominee is responsible for the day-to-day management of the licensed premises. It's good to have more than one nominee, in case they get sick or change jobs.

Before someone can become a nominee, they must complete a responsible service of alcohol course and understand how to promote alcohol responsibly.

Information you will need

  • Business details, including your ABN and name registration certificate.
  • Contact information, resume, and professional and personal character references (evidence of being a fit and proper person) for each nominee and executive officer listed on the application.
  • Responsible service of alcohol certificates (or receipts showing you have paid for the course) for each nominee and executive officer.
  • Police history check (or a receipt showing you have paid the fee for the check) for each nominee and executive officer.
  • Signed affidavit - example below.
  • Declaration of associates - template below.
  • Lease agreement of your business premises.
  • Written confirmation from the premises owner or landlord confirming permission for a liquor licence.
  • Red-line plan showing the area where liquor will be sold or consumed.
  • If you are applying on behalf of a company, a full extract verifying the company's registered details and a certificate of incorporated association including copies of rules and meeting minutes.
  • A copy of your smoking management plan if you have a smoking area.
  • A copy of your food business registration if you have one.

Fees

You will need to pay an application fee of $200. You can do this when you apply online or at a Territory Business Centre after you submit.

Liquor licence holders must also pay an annual fee based on the risk classification of their licence. Find out how much you might need to pay using the calculator on the alcohol reform website.

Processing times

The time your application takes can depend on its type and complexity. Simpler applications will be processed quicker.

1. Assessment - up to 4 weeks

Your application can take longer to review if you haven't attached all the details needed to assess it.

2. Advertising and objection - up to 8 weeks

The time will be reduced if there are no objections to the application.

3. Commission determination - at least 4 weeks

The Liquor Commission is an independent decision-maker for liquor licence applications.

Apply online

Apply now

Estimated completion time: 30 to 40 minutes.

All steps must be completed in one go. You can't save your application and complete it later. Make sure you have all of the above information ready before you start.

You can't use the online application to apply for a major or special event licence or to register as a wholesaler of liquor.

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You must attach all of the mandatory information listed above.

If you don't supply everything, your application will not be accepted. You must provide enough information to allow the Liquor Commission to understand the nature of the business you want to operate under the licence.

Documents are provided below to help you with your affidavit and declaration of associates.

Affidavit example

You must sign an affidavit disclosing each person who, if the licence is issued, may be able to influence you or expect a direct or indirect benefit from you.

Affidavit PDF (584.7 KB)
Affidavit DOCX (689.0 KB)

Declaration of associates

You must declare anyone who is considered an associate under sections 54 and 55 of the Act. Find out more about who should be declared an associate.

Declaration of associates form PDF (582.1 KB)
Declaration of associates form  DOCX (697.4 KB)

Additional documents

After you submit your application, Licensing NT will contact you to discuss other documents that may be required. These can include the below. You can also submit these documents with your initial application if they are necessary in support of your application type.

Draft public notice

A draft public notice of the application which you consent to being published.

Draft public notice of liquor application PDF (683.0 KB)
Draft public notice of liquor application  DOCX (67.9 KB)

Summary of public interest and community impact assessment

Summary of your impact assessment showing that giving you the licence is in the public interest and won't have a significant negative impact on the community.

Summary of public interest and community impact assessment PDF (698.3 KB)
Summary of public interest and community impact assessment DOCX (692.2 KB)

Planning and building permission permits

For example construction, building, renovation, building reclassification and rezoning requirements for the type of licence authority being sought.

Financial and business plans

Finance and business documents that may be relevant for the licence and authority being sought.

Evidence of financial stability

For example, a letter from the relevant bank or accountant (if an individual) or an assets/liabilities statement.

Evidence of club certificates and constitution

If applying on behalf of a club, a current certificate of incorporated association and a copy of the club's constitution.

If you can't apply online, submit an application using the form below. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the form

Fill in the application for a liquor licence or authority.

Application for a new liquor licence or authority PDF (215.2 KB)
Application for a new liquor licence or authority DOCX (68.0 KB)

If you are applying for a licence and authority for a special event, community event or major event, you will also need to fill in a supplementary information form.

Supplementary information for a liquor authority for an event PDF (719.3 KB)
Supplementary information for a liquor authority for an event DOCX (695.4 KB)

Step 2. Check you have the right authorities

Review the form and make sure you have selected the authorities you want attached to your liquor licence. If you are not sure, contact Licensing NT.

Step 3. Attach your supporting documents

You must attach:

  • the mandatory documents listed at the top of this page under 'information you will need'
  • any additional documents that are necessary in support of your application type.

Step 4. Submit

Submit your form with all supporting documents and pay the fee at your nearest Territory Business Centre.

You can also email it and a receipt of the fee to ditt.lrascompliancedwn@nt.gov.au.

If your application is complete, Licensing NT will assess it and tell you if you need to advertise your application. This allows members of the public to formally object, if they meet certain criteria in the Liquor Act 2019.

After your application has been advertised, it will be referred to the Liquor Commission or its delegate for consideration.

All new applications are usually considered at a public hearing. You will be notified of the hearing date in advance, so you can attend.

The Liquor Commission will then decide whether or not to approve the application and grant a licence with authorities.

Once a decision is made, a formal notice will be issued afterwards.

You don’t need a liquor licence or registration if you are going to sell, supply or serve alcohol:

  • at most Australian Defence Force establishments with the authority of the naval, army or air force authorities
  • within the grounds of the Legislative Assembly on the authority of the Speaker
  • on board some vessels, aircraft or trains.

You don't need a liquor licence or registration if you are going to sell, supply or serve alcohol or liquor:

  • to residents or patients within a retirement village, residential care facility or hospital
    • so long as it is no more than two standard drinks per person per day and
    • the body responsible for the village, facility or hospital approves
  • if it is one liquor product sold as part of a gift basket or floral arrangement
  • if you are an employer, to your staff and their families and guests - for example, at a Christmas party for your staff
  • in essences (such as vanilla) in containers of 50ml or less.

Serving free drinks to customers

If you have a business, for example, a hairdresser or a bookshop, and want to give free drinks to customers, you need to register as a complimentary server of liquor first.

You can register for one, five or 10 years by filling in an application and submitting it to Licensing NT.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a certificate that shows you are a registered server of complimentary drinks.

This allows you to serve no more than two standard drinks in a day to a customer.

Find out how to register to serve free alcoholic drinks.

Selling wholesale alcohol

If you want to sell wholesale alcohol in the NT, you must be registered.

Find out how to register as a wholesaler of liquor.

More information

For more information on how to apply for a liquor licence and authority you can:

Last updated: 15 February 2021

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