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Your Guide to Starting a Pub

This guide will give you more information about pub-specific licences, rules and regulations. You can also find out how to pick the right venue and staff.

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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 somebody else
  • Opportunity to be creative in relation to ‘pub’ 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 pub
  • Ability to meet a lot of new people, and establish the ‘goodwill’ of the local community
  • Spending in pubs and bars is on the rise, according to IBISWorld
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Cons
  • Running a pub is not a job and ‘business hours’ don’t exist: it requires a significant investment of personal time and planning
  • Pubs 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 pub owners
  • You will need a range of different capabilities beyond hospitality to be a successful owner of a bar or restaurant; including business and finance management skills
  • Employee tenure can be lower than other industries; meaning higher time investment required to find and train staff
  • Additional liquor and gaming (if you have poker machines at your venue) licenses are required, in addition to other hospitality licensing requirements

Licencing Requirements

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Liquor Licenses

Pubs must ensure they have the right type of licence to serve or sell liquor (alcohol). Licences may include an On Premises licence, Primary Service Authorisation, and/or a 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
  • Your business intentions

Before you lodge an application for a liquor license, 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:

These can be viewed here:

There are also a number of other licenses you may need, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, if you plan to play music at your coffee shop, you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.

  • 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, possibly 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.

There are also several other licenses that you may require, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, you may want to play music at your pub, so you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.

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Food Licensing

If you plan to serve food in your pub, 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 pub, 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!

How to Find Your Perfect Pub: Choosing Your Location

A corner pub is a quintessential part of any suburb in Australia. Whether you are looking to move into an established heritage pub or convert a building into a modern iteration of an Australian classic, location can make all the difference.

Below are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a location for your Pub.

How to Choose the Right Staff for Your Pub

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

Download the guide and get started with our bonus checklist!

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Like what you see? Talk to Us

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.