Applying for a liquor licence

A liquor licence is required for an individual or business to sell and supply liquor in Western Australia.

The Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act) outlines the regulation of the sale, supply and consumption of liquor. It is designed to minimise harm and cater for the development of the liquor, tourism and hospitality industries.

Permanent liquor licences

The application process for a permanent liquor licence varies depending on the type of licence. This determines what information you need to lodge and if your application will be advertised.

Licence types and trading hours (opens a new window)

Licensing process

Graphic process diagrams of the licensing application process.

Applicants

It is important to establish who the applicant will be. The applicant must be the entity that will, if the liquor licence is granted, be conducting the business and retaining the proceeds.

The Act allows for the applicant to be:

  • an individual
  • a body corporate
  • an unincorporated body
  • or any of the above in partnership.

The applicant must also have (or will have) exclusive tenure of the premises in respect of the liquor licence, either by a lease or freehold.

Applications not considered

Applications can not be considered if the application is for a liquor store, hotel or tavern larger than 400m2 and an existing liquor store, hotel or tavern with a retail section that exceeds 400m2 is located within 5 kilometres (metropolitan) or 12 kilometres (regional) by road. 

Packaged liquor premises over 400m2 (opens a new window)

Who cannot apply for the grant of a licence

Section 34 of the Liquor Control Act 1988 sets out that applications cannot be granted if the applicant is:

  • bankrupt or has assigned his/her estate for the benefit of his/her creditors
  • incapable of managing his/her affairs because of a mental disorder
  • under sentence of imprisonment
  • under receivership or official management, or is in liquidation (companies only)
  • disqualified from holding a licence, or holds a licence which has been suspended, as a result of previous disciplinary proceedings
  • a juvenile (for example less than 18 years of age)
  • a Commonwealth or State public servant (including employees of Crown instrumentalities), unless the licensing authority is satisfied that there is no conflict of interest between the applicant’s employment and the operation of the licence.

Extended trading permits

Extended trading permits allow licensees to sell and supply liquor in ways their licence wouldn't normally allow.  

An applicant can also apply for extended trading permit(s) to extend their hours, area or manner of trade with their grant application. Subject to the provisions of Section 60 of the Act, ongoing permits are generally, if granted, issued for a period of 10 years.

There is no fee for an extended trading permit application when lodged with the grant of a licence application.

If you are applying for an ongoing hours extended trading permit to trade past the permitted hours, you will need to provide a public interest assessment submission in support of the hours required.

If you are applying for a hotel or tavern licence, then you will need to provide two public interest assessment submissions — one for the grant of the licence application and one for the ongoing hours application.

Extended trading permits (opens a new window)

Exemptions

There are situations where the sale, supply and consumption of liquor is specifically exempt. They involve small amounts of liquor supplied in controlled environments and social situations with relatively few people. These situations are only considered to be exempt from the Act when the exact conditions are met.

Exemptions to the Liquor Control Act 1988 policy (opens a new window)

    Next step: preparing your licence application

    Page reviewed 31 March 2021