Fundraising Liquor Licenses ACT

Liquor Licenses ACT

Fundraising and Alcohol Rules in Canberra

Whether you’re serving pinot noir as part of a sit-down dinner, or pouring pints after the footy, two things are  certain – liquor can be a pretty effective fundraiser, and you’ll need a license to sell it. We’ve summarised the basics.

A note of caution: this article is intended only as a general guide. Whilst the information provided is correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of publication, we strongly advise anyone who is planning to sell alcohol to seek the advice of the regulating authority below.

Update: 27 January 2016

Licensing Authority: Commissioner for Fair Trading

If you want to sell alcohol in Canberra you’ll need a licence or permit unless you’re running a private event for less than 30 people. Selling liquor without the right permit or licence can result in both prison and financial penalties.

The Commissioner gives out a variety of different licenses and permits. The one most relevant for a lot of fundraisers is the non-commercial liquor permit. A permit is suitable if a restricted value of alcohol is to be sold at a nominated event run by a not-for-profit organisation (whereas a licence is for the sale of alcohol at a single premises during nominated trading hours). It is important to know what type of permit or licence you’re applying for – different categories can have different legal requirements attached to them.

Non-Commercial Liquor Permit


  • The Access Canberra website recommends applying for a license at least 3 months ahead of your planned event.
  • Non-commercial permits only allow a certain amount of liquor to be sold at the event. You must specify the retail value planning to be sold.
  • The not-for-profit organisation can include certain types of clubs (called ‘eligible clubs’  – check the Access Canberra website for a description).
  • The application has to outline the suitability of the proposed permit holder (your organisation), close associates, influential persons and premises where the liquor is going to be sold. Have a look at Access Canberra’s website for definitions of these terms.
  • There are application fees that must be paid when applying for the permit.
  • Once approved, permit holders must comply with the conditions of the permit, or risk penalties.

The website encourages people to contact them with questions (e.g. about the suitability of people involved in the permit application, liquor amount limits) before making an application.

Useful Links:

Liquor Licensing and Permits on the Access Canberra website

Liquor Practice Manual

Related Resources

Originally published 31 January, 2016

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