Transfer a liquor licence
When new owners take over a business that has a liquor licence, the new owners must apply to transfer the licence.
The new owners can't sell or supply liquor until the application has been approved and the licence has been transferred to them.
It is not possible to transfer a club licence or a short term (five year) licence.
When applying you'll need to meet certain requirements and provide a range of documents.
What you'll need
To transfer a liquor licence you'll need to upload these documents:
- a copy of the lease agreement and permission from the landlord if you don't own the property, or a certificate of title if you do own the property (a legible photo is acceptable)
- If you're applying as:
- a partnership, you'll need a copy of the partnership agreement
- a company, you'll need an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) extract
- a trustee of a trust, you'll need a copy of the relevant trust deed.
Positions of authority
You'll need to determine who holds a position of authority within your corporate structure or trust, and have them approved as part of the application.
At all times that the venue is open for trade to the public, it will need to be supervised by a responsible person. This is:
- the licensee
- a director of the licensee (where the licensee is a company)
- a person approved by the Commissioner as a responsible person.
If the person you want to supervise the venue is not approved as responsible person, you can apply for them to be approved. You can do this as part of your licence application.
If a person has already been approved under another current liquor or gaming licence in South Australia, an application is only required if their circumstances have changed since their last approval.
Check if someone is approved as a responsible person (you'll need the ID number from their RP badge).
After submitting your application
After submitting your application you must:
- provide a copy of the permit issued by your local council if you applied for extension of trading area - the permit must be in the applicant’s name
- provide any development approvals from council.
If you don’t have development approval but have been granted planning consent from local council and the venue isn't finished, the Commissioner can grant you a certificate and then grant the licence once the venue is complete. There is no additional application to convert your certificate into a licence.
The documents must be lodged seven days before the date that your application will be considered. You'll be advised of this date after you submit your application.
What happens next
You can log in to LGO at any time to track the progress of your application.
You'll also receive periodic email notifications asking you to log in to receive important information such as the date that your application will be considered (determination date).
Submissions and interventions
Your application will be sent to South Australia Police Licensing Enforcement Branch. It may also need to be advertised.
Advertising directions (PDF) - Consumer and Business Services
Anyone can submit concerns regarding your licence application. For example, if your neighbours think that your business is going to be noisy or if they are concerned your business will have an impact on the neighbourhood they may consider lodging a submission with the Commissioner.
The police may also intervene in your application if they have concerns about public safety and disturbance or the fitness and propriety of any person holding the licence.
If all the approvals are in place and there are no concerns raised by any member of the public (submissions) or police (interventions), the application process will take approximately six to eight weeks.
Submissions or interventions must be lodged at least seven days before the determination date.
If anyone submits a concern regarding your application you will receive a copy.
You may then be asked to:
- submit a response the Commissioner
- take part in a conciliation conference with SAPOL or anyone else who submitted their concerns and the Commissioner or a delegate
- attend a hearing before the Licensing Court.
A conciliation conference is usually held at CBS in the Adelaide CBD.
The Commissioner or delegate must consider all submissions, interventions and responses, and may make a decision on your application without asking you to respond, having a conciliation conference or holding a hearing.
Information for the general public about how to make a submission regarding a liquor licence application.
A conciliation conference is a confidential conference where the Commissioner or delegate will attempt to reach an agreement between the parties. You don’t need to be represented by a lawyer, but you can choose to do so, if you think it’s necessary.
At the conciliation conference:
- you will be asked to explain the nature and intent of your business
- the other party will express their concerns
- the delegate will help the parties try to reach an agreement.
At the end of the conference the delegate will either:
- make a decision on your application
- ask that the parties attend a hearing.
A hearing is more formal than a conciliation conference where all parties will put forward evidence for the Commissioner or a delegate to make a decision.
At a hearing both parties will be able to put their case forward. The Commissioner or delegate will then make a decision on the application.
In special circumstances the Commissioner or delegate may refer your application to the Licensing Court to make a decision.