Types of liquor and wine licences
Liquor licences are outlined in the Liquor Act 1992. In Queensland, liquor licences are regulated by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR).
The type of liquor or wine licence you need depends on the type of business or organisation you want to operate. Each liquor licence has different requirements, and different application and annual licences. Some community-based entities may be exempt from liquor licensing requirements.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:
Find out about takeaway alcohol sales during coronavirus restrictions.
The following types of liquor licences are available in Queensland.
Commercial hotel licence
The commercial hotel licence allows you to sell alcohol for consumption either on the premises or on and off. You will need this type of licence to run a hotel or tavern.
Commercial other licence
There are 5 types of commercial other licences:
Subsidiary on-premises licence
You will need a subsidiary on-premises licence when selling liquor for on-premises consumption is a secondary function of your business.
Types of businesses that may require this licence include:
- indoor sporting centres
- amusement parks
- function centres
- training institutions.
Restaurant licensees must provide meals or prepared food (at their licensed premises) as the principal activity of their business. The provision of meals must be demonstrated on a daily basis. This means that:
- most patrons who attend the venue during a day will consume a meal
- most of the premises will be set up for dining
- the kitchen will be open up to 1 hour before closing the premises and
- there will be enough staff at the premises to prepare and serve meals.
Subsidiary off-premises licence
You will need a subsidiary off-premises licence when selling liquor for off-premises consumption is a secondary function of your business.
Types of businesses that may require this licence include florists or businesses that sell gift baskets (although, under some conditions, they may be exempt).
You will need a bar licence if your main business activity is selling liquor for consumption on licensed premises with a maximum seating capacity of 60 patrons.
Industrial canteen licence
You will need an industrial canteen licence when the main function of your business is selling liquor in remote industrial locations to employees and their guests.
You will need a producer/wholesaler licence when the main function of your business is either, or both:
- production and wholesale sale of liquor on the licensed premises
- wholesale sale of liquor (to other licensees) on the licensed premises.
Commercial special facility licence
The commercial special facility licence applies to casinos, airports, convention centres and other tourism businesses, excluding sporting facilities.
Community club licence
The community club licence applies to non-proprietary clubs (e.g. sporting clubs, RSL clubs and ethnic clubs).
Community other licence
The community other licence allows for limited trading periods and applies to non-proprietary clubs that are also incorporated associations (such as charities) or unincorporated associations with an individual to hold the licence on the association's behalf.
You will need a nightclub licence when the main function of your business is to provide entertainment. The person presenting the entertainment must be physically present while entertainment is being provided.
There are 2 types of wine licences available under the Wine Industry Act 1994.
Note: Under the Wine Industry Act, an approved wine nominee is required if an individual holds more than 1 licence or if the licensee is an organisation or partnership.
Wine producer licence
A wine producer licence allows the licensee to operate a vineyard or winery.
Wine merchant licence
A wine merchant licence allows the licensee to conduct business that contributes to the Queensland wine industry in a substantial way, such as using Queensland fruit to make wine on another premise, or blending different wines to create a unique wine in the state.
Licence to sell alcohol online
Selling alcohol online from within Queensland
In Queensland, there is no specific licence for directly selling packaged liquor over the internet to the general public. However, the sale of alcohol online is permitted under certain circumstances.
The Liquor Act and Wine Industry Act allow for specific licensees to sell alcohol online:
- Commercial hotel licensees or limited commercial special facility licensees can sell retail packaged liquor for consumption off the licensed premises (takeaway liquor) to the general public. This includes online sale.
- Wine producer licensees and wine merchant licensees are permitted to sell wine to the general public for off-premises consumption (takeaway liquor). These sales may be conducted online.
Selling alcohol online from outside of Queensland
Under the Liquor Act and Wine Industry Act, interstate suppliers can legally sell liquor online to Queenslanders provided that the storage (distribution) and payment for the alcohol sale happens outside of Queensland.
Sellers operating, or proposing to operate, from jurisdictions outside of Queensland should consult with their relevant state regulatory agency.
- Contact OLGR for more information about liquor licensing.
- Check the fees and charges for Queensland liquor and wine licensing.
- Find out about normal and extended trading hours.
- Learn more about compliance for liquor licensees.
- Read the Liquor Act 1992.
- Read the Wine Industry Act 1994.
- Access our online client portal (if you already hold a liquor licence) to pay your licence fees and manage your licence details.
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