Licence for an on-premises still

For businesses looking to operate a still on-premises, understanding and adhering to venue licensing requirements is crucial. Whether you’re running a distillery, a bar, or a restaurant with an in-house distillation setup, navigating these regulations is key to legal operation and success. As a business advisor, I assist entrepreneurs in comprehending these licensing requirements to ensure compliance and maximise business potential. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what you need to know.

 1. Understanding the Licensing Landscape
- Regulatory Bodies: Licensing for venues with on-premises distillation is governed by both federal and state authorities in Australia, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and local liquor licensing boards.
- Purpose of Licensing: Licenses are designed to regulate the sale and production of alcohol, ensuring safety, legal compliance, and responsible service.

 2. Types of Licenses Required
- Distillation License: Required for the legal production of spirits. This license is regulated by the ATO under the Excise Act.
- Liquor License: Depending on your state or territory, a specific type of liquor license is required for the sale of alcohol produced on-site.

 3. Applying for a Distillation License
- Application Process: The application involves submitting detailed information about your distillation equipment, production capacity, and safety measures.
- Excise Compliance: Understand the excise implications of spirit production, including record-keeping and tax obligations.

 4. Securing a Liquor License
- Type of License: The type of liquor license required varies based on your business model (e.g., bar, restaurant, or distillery).
- Local Requirements: Each state and territory in Australia has its own regulations and application process for liquor licensing.

 5. Venue Compliance and Safety
- Safety Standards: Ensure your venue meets safety standards, particularly related to fire hazards and ventilation associated with distillation.
- Local Council Regulations: Check with your local council for any specific zoning or health and safety requirements for operating a still.

 6. Community Engagement and Responsibilities
- Responsible Service: Uphold responsible service of alcohol principles.
- Community Considerations: Engage with your community, addressing any concerns related to your distillation activities.

 7. Marketing and Promotion Compliance
- Advertising Regulations: Be aware of advertising and promotion regulations related to alcohol, ensuring that your marketing strategies comply with legal standards.

 8. Seeking Expert Guidance
- Consult with a Business Advisor: Engage a business advisor or consultant who specialises in hospitality and liquor licensing to navigate the complex licensing landscape.
- Legal Assistance: Consider legal advice to ensure complete compliance with all federal and state regulations.

 9. Staying Informed
- Keeping Up-to-Date: Stay informed about changes in liquor and distillation laws, as legislation and regulations can evolve.

Understanding and complying with venue licensing requirements is a critical aspect of successfully operating a still on-premises. It involves navigating a complex web of federal and state regulations, ensuring safety and legal compliance, and being a responsible member of the community. As your business advisor, I am dedicated to helping you understand these requirements and guide you through the licensing process, ensuring your business operates smoothly and legally.