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If you want to operate a small bar in NSW, you'll need to apply for a small bar licence.

A small bar licence allows you to sell alcohol for consumption on the licensed premises, but does not allow gaming or take-away liquor. This liquor licence allows a maximum of 120 customers, over the age of 18, on the premises during authorised trading hours. 

How to apply

  1. Check the eligibility requirements.
  2. Gather the required documents and information.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button. 
  4. Register or sign in to OneGov.
  5. Complete the online application form. 
  6. Upload and attach your supporting documents.
  7. Submit your application with payment. 

Note: Before submitting your application, or within 2 working days of applying, lodge a notice (which is part of the application) and send a copy of the application, to:

  • the local police station
  • local council or other consent authority
  • any other local council or consent authority within 500 metres of the premises
  • the Lands division of NSW Department of Primary Industries, if the trade fair premises are on Crown land. 


To submit an application, you must declare: 

  • you are 18 years or older
  • the licensee is not suspended or disqualified from holding a liquor licence.

What you need

Before you apply for a small bar licence, you must:

  • get development consent, or make an application for development consent or an application to change an existing one
  • notify both NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service within 2 working days of lodging your development application with the council. 

In your notification, include the:

  • record of lodgement you received when you lodged your development application
  • proposed licence name
  • premises address
  • date of the development application
  • council or consent authority name.

If you didn't get development consent, or you missed the 2 working day deadline to notify both the NSW Police and the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service, you must submit a Category B community impact statement (CIS).

When you're ready to apply, you’ll need:

  • a OneGov account
  • your contact details
  • details of the proposed licensee, the premises and business owner
  • a floor plan clearly showing the boundaries proposed for the small bar
  • a copy of your local council development approval or consent (if applicable)
  • completed applicant declaration – PDF (if applicable)
  • your payment

If you're applying as an individual, you'll also need:

If you're applying as an organisation, you'll also need:

  • ABN, ACN or Y/Inc
  • the names and birthdates of all directors and office holders (if a proprietary company)
  • a current Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) extract
  • an Appointment of manager notice – PDF.  

More information

  • Your application will be posted to the Liquor Applications Noticeboard. The application will be open for public submissions for 30 days before it is assessed. 
  • If you do not complete all the requirements listed on the application form, your application may be delayed or rejected.
  • You must comply with liquor laws and statutory liquor licence requirements.
  • You can tailor your licence to meet your needs by applying for authorisations and exemptions. For more information, visit the Small bar licence page on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.
  • Licensees who already hold an existing on-premises or hotel (general bar) licence which was current as at 13 January 2020, can convert that licence to a small bar licence free of charge until 28 February 2021. For more information, visit the Small bar licence page on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.
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