Apply for a liquor licence

Wholesale liquor merchant licence

From November 2019 existing wholesale liquor merchants, producers and some special circumstances licences will be incorporated into the new liquor production and sales licence category. New conditions will apply.

During October and November the processing of new applications may be delayed while existing licenses are being transitioned to the new categories.

A wholesale liquor merchant licence will only allow you to sell liquor to other liquor merchants.

You may also sell liquor to the general public in a quantity of at least 4.5 litres per sale however at least 90% of your turnover each year must be from the sale to other merchants.

This licence also allows you to provide samples of liquor to your customers.

Trading hours

Can sell to liquor merchants on any day and at any time.

If selling liquor to the general public can only sell between the hours of 8.00 am and 9.00 pm.

Before you begin

To apply you will need to:

  • submit a floor plan of the venue - how to submit a plan for a licensed venue (PDF 344KB)
  • provide a copy of the lease agreement or permission from the landlord if you don't own the property
  • supply a certificate of title if you own the property,
  • determine whether you are applying as an individual, partnership, company, trustee of a trust or incorporated association and provide the following documents where applicable:
    • a copy of the partnership agreement
    • an ASIC extract
    • an incorporated association constitution including a list of committee members
    • a copy of the relevant trust deed
  • determine who holds a position of authority, within your corporate structure or trust and lodge a personal identification declaration (PID) to have those persons approved .

How to apply


Complete the online application.

Apply now

Email, post, in person

1. Print, complete and sign the relevant application forms and supporting evidence

Apply for a Wholesale Liquor Merchant licence (PDF 280KB)

Personal Information Declaration (PID) (PDF 681KB)

Apply for approval of a responsible person

2. Submit the application

Email the documents to

Post to:

Licensing Branch
GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Take to:

CBS Customer Service Centre
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Positions of authority

It is your responsibility to ensure that all persons who:

  • occupy a position of authority within your corporate structure or trust
  • receive profits or proceeds from the business

are approved by the commissioner.

Positions of authority include:

  • a sole-trader or persons in a partnership
  • directors and shareholders, including where a shareholder is a body corporate
  • trustees and beneficiaries of the trust associated with the licensed entity
  • committee members in the case of an incorporated association
  • any person in the corporate structure which exercises influence or control over the business.

Minors who are shareholders in a proprietary company, or who are beneficiaries under a trust do not need approval.

More on who needs approval within your corporate structure (PDF 182KB)

Personal identification declarations (PIDs)

To be approved by the commissioner each person must complete and lodge a personal identification declaration (PID) with the application.

Personal information declaration (PID) form (PDF 681KB)

If a person has already been approved in a position of authority under another current liquor or gaming licence in South Australia, a PID is only required if their circumstances have changed since their last approval.

Further requirements

At least seven days before your application is set down to be considered you must:

  • provide CBS with any development approvals from council


  • if you do not have development approval but have been granted planning consent from local council, the commissioner can grant you a certificate if the venue isn’t finished and then grant the licence once the venue is complete - there is no additional application to convert a certificate into a licence.

Your case manager will advise you of the date that your application will be considered.

More detailed information on the process and requirements of applying for a liquor licence is provided in the Practice Direction (PDF 1.2MB)

Responsible persons

The wholesale liquor merchant business will need to be supervised either by you, or a person approved by the commissioner as a responsible person, whenever you’re open for trade.

If the responsible person you want is already approved you do not need to do anything further.

You can check whether any of your staff are already approved as responsible persons.

If you don’t already have an approved responsible person you will need to apply to have someone approved. This application can be lodged together with your wholesale liquor merchant application.

Apply for approval of a responsible person

If your business is small and you’re only planning to trade short hours a few days a week, you may be able to get an exemption from the requirement to have a responsible person managing your business when you are not there.

Application for exemption from responsible person requirements (PDF 50KB)


New licence


Responsible person or person in a position of authority


ID badge (if required)


A new fee structure will apply from November 2019.

Licensees can calculate their annual licensing fees using the fee calculator.

What happens next

A copy of your application will be sent to South Australian police licensing enforcement branch.

Notification of your application will also be put on the CBS website and made available to the public. Your case manager will contact you to let you know whether you need to:

  • display a notification on the premises
  • notify your local council.

You will be asked to provide evidence that you have completed both of these.

If all the approvals are in place and there are no objections, the application process will take approximately six to eight weeks.


As notice of your application is made public any person may object if they have a reason to do so - for example, if your neighbours think that your business is going to be noisy, or have an impact on the neighbourhood.

The police and council may also intervene in your application if there are concerns about public safety and disturbance, or if there are concerns about the fitness and propriety of any person.

If someone objects to your application you will:

  • receive a copy of the objection form, which will usually explain the objection
  • be invited to take part in a conciliation conference with the objector and the commissioner or a delegate, usually held at CBS in the Adelaide CBD.

Conciliation conference

The conciliation conference is not a formal process and there's no need to be represented by a lawyer, but you may choose to do so if you think it's necessary.

At the conciliation conference:

  • the delegate will ask you to explain exactly what your application is all about, how you wish to trade and so on
  • the objectors will explain their concerns
  • the delegate will help the parties reach an agreement
  • the delegate can explain what the law means and clarify any misunderstandings the parties may have but cannot provide you with legal advice.

If the objectors and you fail to come to an agreement, the delegate can't make a decision and the matter will be referred to a hearing.


A hearing can take place before a delegate or the commissioner if all parties agree, otherwise it will be heard by the licensing court.

At a hearing before a delegate or the commissioner:

  • you will be able to put your case forward
  • the objectors can explain their concerns
  • the delegate or commissioner will make a decision on the application.

If your matter goes before the licensing court, more information will be provided by the court.

Contact CBS Liquor and Gaming


Phone: 131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street

GPO Box 2169
Adelaide SA 5001

Page last updated 21 June 2019

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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