Temporary Authority Applications
If you are considering taking over an existing business that is licensed to sell alcohol you will need to be aware of the legal requirements for the sale and supply of alcohol. You will need to apply for a Temporary Authority to be able to continue to sell alcohol.
What is a Temporary Authority?
If the premises have a current on-licence or off-licence, you can apply for a Temporary Authority to allow you to trade on the existing licence and its conditions until you obtain a new licence in your own name. A Temporary Authority is normally issued for three months and during this time you need to obtain your own licence.
For a Temporary Authority to be issued, the existing licence needs to be kept current, so any annual licence fees that are due must be paid and the licence must not be surrendered by the existing licensee.
The sale of alcohol cannot occur until the Temporary Authority has been issued, so lodge the application as early as possible before the takeover date. This allows the Inspector and Police to enquire into the application, and for the District Licensing Committee to make their decision.
Management of Licensed Premises
When alcohol is available for sale to the public, a manager who holds a current Manager’s Certificate must be on duty at all times. You will therefore need to either have a Manager’s Certificate yourself, or employ someone who already holds a certificate.
If you are new to the alcohol industry it can take up to six months for you to undergo the required training, and gain enough experience to obtain a Manager’s Certificate. You should bear this in mind when considering the staffing of your new business. Information is available on the manager’s training course providers and how to apply for a Manager’s Certificate.
A Temporary Authority cannot be issued if you do not have anyone with a Manager’s Certificate who is associated with your premises.
Applying for a Temporary Authority
On the application form indicate which licence or licences you are seeking, i.e. an on-licence or an off-licence, or both. The Temporary Authority fee of $296.70 is payable for each licence.
Applying for Your Own Alcohol Licence
As soon as you receive your Temporary Authority you should start gathering the supporting information you will need for your licence application. Start this process as early as possible so the licence(s) can be processed and granted before your Temporary Authority expires. Further information is available on applying for an On Licence or Off Licence and on the licensing process flow chart.
How long will it take to process the licence application?
The time it takes to process alcohol licence applications is heavily dependent upon the quality of the information supplied in the application, the advertising of the application and on the receipt of external reports from the Police or Medical Officer of Health. It will take approximately 5 weeks or more to process the application. If an application receives an objection or is opposed then the process will take longer for a hearing to be held.
There are also special rules about accepting and processing applications between 20 December and 15 January.
How much will the licences cost?
The first few years of the alcohol licensing process can be expensive. You should factor in all the costs:
- Licence application and annual fees for the premises
- Manager’s Certificate course and application fees
- Building and Planning Certificate fees
- Food Business Registration fees and verification charges
How long does a licence last?
Once issued, the first licence lasts for 12 months and a renewal application must be filed prior to the expiry date of the licence. Licences are renewal for three years.
New Manager’s Certificates are also issued for 12 months, and renewed for three years.
Food Business Registration
All on-licensed premises have to provide food for their customers, so the premises will need an approved Food Control Plan. All new food businesses require a Food Control Plan to be in place before they begin selling food.
Some off-licensed premises that sell food may also need a food business registration.
Please contact us if you have any questions.