Having recently gone through the task of applying for our Wholesale Liquor License we thought we would shed some light on what the process involved. When we were looking to apply for our license we could find very little information about the steps involved and found the whole thing to be quite confusing.
Firstly let's make it clear that there are two distinct license categories for selling beer as a brewer in NSW. These two categories are lumped into the same license application.
1st is wholesale section of the license. This is what most contract or gypsy brewers use who do not have there own brewery. This license is limited to the sale of product to licensed venues, you are unable to sell product direct to the public. This license is limited to the sale of product through telephone, email, internet and fax sales of a product.
2nd is producer's license which is for if you have your own brewery and wish to sell your product. For this license you will need to have a site which is DA approved and fit for brewing. You will also need an excise license for paying tax on alcohol produced with this license.
The other type of license is a packaged liquor license which allows you to sell direct to public from a home office without a brewery but this license is $2000 for the application. This is the license that OLGR may advise of you but this is not necessary for gypsy brewing.
In this newsletter we will be talking specifically about the wholesale license for a brewing company which you may use for gypsy brewing.
STEPS FOR APPLICATION:
To apply for a wholesale license you will need an RSA Card. You will need this in your approved manager application (see below). You will need to have your RSA Card on you at all times when serving alcohol and even in the case of a home office where you are selling product over the phone. You can apply for an RSA Card online here.
Have an Address to Appoint the License to:
For a wholesale license you will need an address to designate to your home office. This space is for email, phone, internet and fax sales only. You will need to show a map of this space in the license application. It is important to note that you will need permission from the owner of this address to apply for the license. You will need their details later on the license application. You will also need a letter from them stating that they give consent to use part of the premises in conjunction with a liquor license. You will need to assign one room at the address to be designated to the licensed area. It is best if this area can be closed off by a door and is not part of an open space.
Plans for Proposed Premises
The licensed premises needs to be outlined in a set of plans with the licensed area being outlined in a red box. When we applied for our license we supplied a floor plan, a google maps image and a google earth image of where the premises was positioned. It is important to show the street and entrance to the property and clearly mark all boundaries.
Letter From Premise Owner
As mentioned you will need permission from the owner of the proposed licensed premises to formally grant permission to use their address.
Here is example copy for a letter from the premise owner:
[ DATE ]
I [ FULL NAME ] give permission for part of my premises, [ ADDRESS ] to be used in conjunction with a liquor license.
[ SIGNATURE ]
Call Your Local Council
Contact your council and ask to speak to the planning department. Let them know your intention to apply for a wholesale license which you will run out of a home office at the above address. Be very clear that this space will be specifically for phone, email, telephone sales.
You will need to get a letter from your council that states that there is no Development Consent needed for the use of this address as a home office.
Get a Police Check
You will need a police check for the approved manager application. You will need to attach this at the end of your wholesale license application and you will need it for your Approved Manager Application. You can do a police check online or alternatively you can go into your local police station.
You can get a police check online here.
Apply for Approved Manager License
You will need to appoint an approved manager to your license application. You can apply to be an approved manager at the same time you apply for your wholesale license and note the approved manager application in your wholesale license application. This will save you time on your license application as they will be running parallel to each other. When applying for an approved manager license you will be asked to create an account with service NSW (If you do not already have one).
You can apply for the approved manager license here.
One of the documents you will need to attach to your wholesale license is a Company Extract. This is a document which contains all the official ASIC information about your company. You can apply for a company extract here.
Apply for Wholesale / Producer’s License
The great thing about the new and updates Service NSW platform is that once you have an account you can see and keep track of all your applications. As you can see in the image below all you have to do to apply for another license (such as your wholesale license) you click on My Products > Apply Online and choose liquor.
Post Application Process
Once you have applied for the license you will receive an email from the officer assigned to your application at OLGR stating that you have applied for a license. You will be sent a Public Consultation Site Notice and a copy of your license application. The license should take approximately 3 months but can take longer in busy periods such as the end of the year.
The Site Notice
You will need to follow the instructions on the site notice within 2 working days.
Sign and Date the Public Consultation Site Notice (and return to OLGR)
Must affix the site notice to the proposed licensed premises
Provided to Occupiers of surrounding buildings
Liquor Licensing Notice Board
Once you have sent through your site notice your license application will then go up on the liquor licensing notice board for 30 Days where members of the public can protest the application. You will have a chance to reply to these contestants if need be. A copy of your application will be sent to local council and the local police department.
You can view the Liquor Licensing Notice Board here.
Meeting With Local Licensing Police
You may be contacted by the local licensing police a week or so after your application has gone through. This is nothing to be concerned about. They would generally just like to meet you and get an understanding about the intentions of your business. You may like to prepare a Responsible Service of Alcohol plan to present to them for the extra bonus round points.
Communicating With OLGR and ILGA
When corresponding with your Licensing Officer via email always title the subject line with the application number and the name of the license application. You will find this in the subject line of the first email that you received from OLGR once you applied for your license. This keeps the correspondence clear and concise and helps the Licensing Officer keep track of your application.
Applying for a Liquor License of any sort can be an extremely frustrating process. It is always best to remember to be polite and friendly to the OLGR and ILGA Officers on the phone. While we get to do the fun stuff like dream up brewing companies these guys are sitting in an office somewhere dealing with large amounts of paperwork. Going through the system of Government processing can be slow and tedious for all parties involved but keeping cool calm and collected is the best way to approach the situation.
Good Luck with your application.
We wish you all the best with your new venture and look forward to seeing your beers on tap!