Opening a new licensed business
This page explains what approvals and licences are required to start a new business that will sell or supply liquor under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.
New licensed premises must meet various legal requirements
If you are intending to start a new business that will sell or supply liquor there are a number of legal considerations in addition to the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 requirements that you will need to comply with.
If you are building a new premises, converting an existing building or changing the use of an existing building you will need both Resource and Building Consents before commencing site work.
The Resource Consent requirements include:
- Details of proposed site work i.e., building, a change of building use etc.
- Your provisions for on site vehicle parking.
- Porirua City District Plan restrictions on trading days and hours, if any.
- Noise restrictions.
- The maximum permitted occupancy capacity, toilets, fire escapes etc provided.
The Building Consent requirements include:
- Details of the proposed building work i.e., construct new building, structural alterations to existing building, and building change of use or outfitting.
- Fire safety and egress.
- Disabled access to the premises.
- Plumbing/sanitary/drainage/trade waste disposal. Note: Grease traps are required for all food premises.
- Building Warrant of Fitness.
It is recommended you visit Council’s Customer Services Centre early to discuss your proposal before commencing site work. Have your site plans, building plans and business details with you.
Licence applications require Resource and Building Consent clearances
When you file your new or renewal liquor licence application with the District Licensing Agency, it must include a Sale of Liquor Certificate confirming your premises comply with the Resource Management Act 1991 and Building Act 2004.
Note: This certificate is a specific requirement to licence applications under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and should not be confused with a building Code Compliance Certificate.
You may print off the form SOL Certificate Application from our Liquor Licensing Forms page using the link below, complete it and submit it to Council’s Customer Services Centre.
Do this early in your application process to avoid later delays or problems.
Certificated managers must supervise licensed premises
You may have to apply personally for a manager's certificate under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and will also have to make provision for the management of your premises by properly certificated duty managers.
Licensed premises must have an approved Host Responsibility Policy
All licensed premises must have a current approved Host Responsibility policy.
Licensed premises must be food hygiene registered
Premises used for the sale of food must be registered under the Health Act 1956 and Food hygiene Regulations 1971 and comply with the:
- Hygiene standards for food preparation, storage, display and handling.
- Sanitary requirements i.e., public and staff toilet(s), hand washbasins, hot and cold water and waste disposal.
A building owner must approve use as licensed premises
If you are not the owner of the building in which your premises are or will be located you must obtain the owner's written approval for your application.
This certificate should include a statement to the effect that the owner has no objection to the use of their building as premises for the sale or supply of liquor under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.
Buying an existing licensed business
Liquor licences are not transferable from person to person or premises to premises.
If you are buying an existing licensed business you will have to apply for your own licence. In this case it is important that you confirm:
- With Council’s District Licensing Agency that the existing liquor licence is current and will remain so for at least three months from the date on which you resume control of the business. Note: This is important for the issue of a Temporary Authority pending the issue of your substantive licence.
- The premises have current registration under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1971 and there are no outstanding requisitions. Note: You must notify council of the change of ownership.
- Confirm there are no building or resource consent issues outstanding and the Sale of Liquor Certificate for both the Resource Management Act 1991 and Building Act 2004 can be issued.
It is recommended you obtain a LIM (Land Information Memorandum) from Council that will include all the above information before you commit yourself to the premises.
Links to more liquor licensing information
Porirua City Council links: