Managing Liquor Licensed Premises
This page explains the statutory requirements for the management and operation of premises licensed under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.
Licensed premises must be managed by certificated managers
All premises being operated under a licence issued pursuant to the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 must be supervised by a person who has a current manager's certificate issued under the same Act at all times when those premises are operating under the licence. This applies to:
- On-Licence premises or conveyances i.e., hotel, tavern, bar, restaurant, cafe, bar and cafe, ship, ferry, rail or aircraft.
- Catering On-Licence premises i.e., any building or other place where any type of event is being held which is being catered for by the holder of this type of licence.
- Off-Licence premises i.e., bottle shop, supermarket.
- Special Licence events i.e., premises or conveyances in or on which events are being held under the licence.
Managers are responsible for ensuring the licensed premises comply with the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and licence conditions.
The manager's certificates must be current and appropriate for the type of premises that the holder is managing.
Certificates are personal to the holder. They are not premises specific and apply throughout the country.
Continuous manager supervision is not required for Club premises
Although Club Licence premises also require certificated managers, the managers do not have to be continuously present on the premises provided they are readily accessible should they be required.
Individuals require a manager’s certificate in certain cases
You must have a manager’s certificate to:
- Manage any On-Licence, Off-Licence, Club Licence or Special licence premises; or
- Operate any On or Off-Licence premises as a sole trader i.e., owner operator; or
- Operate On or Off-Licence licensed premises as a partner in a partnership (Note: All partners require a certificate); or
- Operate on or off-Licence premises on behalf of a private trust i.e. family trust.
Companies and licensing trusts require certificated managers
All companies and licensing trusts operating licensed premises must employ persons with a General Manager's Certificate to manage those premises.
A manager’s certificate is not required for licensed BYO premises
You do not require a Manager's Certificate if you operate a café or restaurant under a BYO type On-Licence i.e., the licence is endorsed under Section 28 of the Act.
There are two manager’s certificate options
Under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 there are two manager’s certificate options open to you. The type of certificate you apply for will depend entirely on the type of licensed premises you will manage.
General Managers Certificate
This certificate enables the holder to manage any type of licensed premises i.e., On-Licence, Off-Licence, Club Licence or Special Licence.
Club Managers Certificate
This certificate allows the holder to manage any Club and Special Licence premises.
Links to other liquor licensing information