Whether you’re serving pinot noir as part of a sit-down dinner, or pouring pints after the footy, two things are certain – alcohol can be a pretty effective fundraiser, and you’ll need a liquor 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.
Licensing Authority: Director-General of Licensing (Director-General)
Special Licence to Sell Liquor at Functions
Liquor cannot be sold or supplied without a license in the Northern Territory. The special license is for one-off functions run by community groups, individuals, partnerships or companies. See the types of licenses for selling liquor at functions page for more details.
If the event is being held on NT Department of Education and Children’s Services property, DECS must pre-approve the supply of alcohol. See here for more on NT DECS liquor policy and conditions.
The special licence has an application fee.
Standard licensing requirements / conditions apply to all special liquor licences, including:
- the practice of responsible service of alcohol principles
- compliance with the Liquor Act and conditions stipulated on the licence
- the commitment to and practicing of responsible sale and consumption of alcohol within the licensed area
- compliance with requirements of the Private Security Act by using only licensed crowd controllers as venue security
- compliance with relevant legislation including the Tobacco Control Act and Regulations, fire, health, planning, building and noise control requirements
- if you intend selling tobacco products (even by way of vending machine), a tobacco retail licence will need to be obtained
- evidence of advance written permission from the venue owner / controller
- The applicant for a licence must demonstrate in the application that the grant of the licence is in the public interest.
- There are penalties if events breach the standard licensing requirements.
- Special license holders are expected to know and follow the practice of responsible service of alcohol principles, the Liquor Act and the Code of practice to assist in the responsible promotion of alcohol.
- It is recommended that the applicant attend a responsible service of alcohol course. The course takes about half-a-day to complete.
The website warns that late applications will not be processed.
Smaller event applications, along with the application fee must be submitted 7 days before the event.
Larger event applications, along with the application fee must be submitted 30 days before the event.
For more details about the conditions of holding a special license, see Knowing your responsibilities as a special liquor license holder in NT.
Liquor Restricted Areas
Some parts of NT have total bans on alcohol. Please see the NT website page Liquor restricted areas, for more details.
NT liquor licensing forms and guidelines page – this is a good starting point