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Your Guide to Starting a Bar

Now you’re familiar with the general information about starting your business, you’re ready to delve into the more in-depth information around opening a bar.

 

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Pros
  • Ability to be your own boss and have more control over your career
  • If successful, financial reward will be superior to working for another bar
  • Opportunity to be creative in relation to bar concept, including menus and fit outs
  • Ability to utilise a range of different skills that you may not get as a regular employee of a restaurant
  • Ability to meet a lot of new people
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Cons
  • Running a bar is not a job and ‘business hours’ don’t exist: it requires a significant investment of personal time and planning
  • Bars can fail – meaning huge drain and stress on financial resources and time lost
  • Subject to seasonal variances meaning cash flow a notable stress point for bar owners
  • You will need a range of different capabilities beyond hospitality to be a successful owner of a bar; including business and finance management skills
  • Employee tenure can be lower than other industries; meaning higher time investment required to find and train staff
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Licencing Requirements

Liquor licensing

 

Liquor licensing will be the main type of licensing requirement for bars. Venues that intend to serve or sell liquor (alcohol) must ensure they have the right license. Licences may include:

  • A Small Bar Licence
  • On Premises Licence
  • Primary Service Authorisation
  • Liquor Approved Manager Licence

But requirements will vary depending on the state or territory you’re in, where the alcohol will be consumed, council requirements around land use, and your business intentions.

Before you lodge an application for a liquor licence, you’ll need a National Police Certificate which will include a criminal record check. You can find out more about liquor licensing in each state here:

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Business Licences

You’ll need to apply for a business licence and registration from the local council. The local council will ask you to provide information such as:

  • Your food business classification
  • The type of food to be served
  • Whether food is pre-packaged
  • The name of your food safety representative.

For information on the process with your local council, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service.

You’ll also need to apply for a number of certificates from the local council, including:

  • A zoning certificate
  • A construction certificate
  • A fire safety certificate
  • A compliance certificate
  • An occupation certificate

You’ll then need to pay the associated fees and fill out the required paperwork.

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Food Licensing

If you plan to serve food in your bar, you’ll need to follow food business licensing requirements, which also vary from state to state.

Food business licensing ensures your venue can produce safe food before it is supplied or prepared for the local community. Licensing requirements vary depending on the size of the venue and state or territory where you’re establishing the business. You can view the relevant licensing requirements for your bar below.

There are also several other licenses that you may require, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, you’ll likely be playing music at the bar, so you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

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Get in touch with our hospitality POS experts to see how Impos can help your business thrive.

Like what you see? Talk to Us

Get in touch with our hospitality POS experts to see how Impos can help your business thrive.