Liquor Licensing Applications: the importance of lawyers, planners and architects working together

To develop a new hospitality business and thereafter exercise the privileges of the licence requires a complicated liquor licensing application initially and difficult compliance issues thereafter.

It is essential for lawyers to be mindful of all of the complications in order to provide accurate and meaningful advice to clients.  Of the many issues that could arise, the most usual involve understanding and addressing questions such as:

  • Exclusive possession of the licensed premises considerations
  • Public Interest Assessment considerations
  • Consultation with key stakeholders and potentially adversely affected parties
  • Leasing issues including "profit sharing"
  • Adding shareholders/directors
  • Power of attorney limitations
  • Limitations on using the licence as security
  • The scope of the exemption provisions making the need for a licence unnecessary
  • Eligibility to apply for a licence
  • Suitability to continue to hold a licence and the duty to inform of convictions
  • Public interest considerations generally
  • Role of local authorities in the application process
  • Difference between conditional and unconditional grants of a licence
  • The right to object to new applications
  • Transfers of licences
  • Alteration and redefinition of licensed premises
  • Interim authorisations
  • Juveniles on licensed premises and juveniles using or passing through licensed areas
  • Conditions imposed on all licences and the implications of special trading conditions
  • Liquor on unlicensed premises
  • Police powers
  • Liquor inspectors' powers
  • Infringement notices
  • Disciplinary proceedings and complaints
  • Proper delineation of the licensed area
  • Distinguishing licensed from non-licensed areas
  • Unconditional local authority approval for the specific liquor usage
  • Restriction on sharing of toilets
  • Location of toilets off the licensed premises
  • Relevance and impact of trading conditions
  • Designing-out crime guidelines

All of the above matters should be born in mind and addressed by an applicant and its consultants at an early stage in the preparation of a project and prior to lodgement of an application.  Failure to do so may cause delays and complications or restrictions in the processing of licence applications.  Potentially, undesirable conditions may be imposed on the grant of a licence which impact adversely on the operation of the business.

Should you require assistance to help address your clients' liquor licensing issues, please do not hesitate to contact anyone in our Liquor, Hospitality & Events team.

Disclaimer – the information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice in relation to any particular matter you may have before relying or acting on this information. The Lavan team are here to assist.