Experiences involving alcohol in Sydney
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your trips or experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experience, we encourage you to check with your city or an attorney.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
I plan to serve/provide alcohol as part of my experience - do I need any licences for that?
The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated in Australia. In general, the sale of alcohol requires a liquor licence. You can find out more information about the types of liquor licences available here. The sale of alcohol is generally a tricky area, so we encourage you to check with the Independent Liquor Gaming Authority or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
If you are considered to be selling alcohol as part of your experience you will be required to apply for an On-Premises Licence. This Licence has an application fee of approximately $700. You can apply for this licence by completing the online application form and uploading necessary supporting documents, including a National Police Certificate and a responsible service of alcohol (RSA) certificate. This application process may take up to a few months for approval. If your experience involves operating a restaurant or entertainment venue that is open to the public, you will need to obtain a Community Impact Statement as part of the application process. This involves an assessment of the likely impact on the community of your proposed business and the level of community support for the proposal. Other local venues and members of the community can make submissions in respect of your proposal as part of this process.
You will also need to ensure that all personnel who serve liquor have completed an approved RSA course and have received a certificate.
You will not need a liquor licence if you provide temporary guest accommodation and:
- there are fewer than 8 guests staying at the premises at any one time, and
- the alcohol has been bought from a retailer, and
- the alcohol is secondary to the provision of the experience and/or food (including a take away picnic basket).
However, even if you do not require a liquor licence, you will need to notify the Independent Liquor Gaming Authority that you are serving liquor as part of your experience. In addition, you must complete an approved responsible training course and hold recognised RSA certification, such as a photo competency card.
If you hold a liquor licence you may need to register your business with the local council. For example, the City of Sydney Council requires you to submit a registration form if you operate a food business with a liquor licence. Please refer to our Business Licensing page for further information.
What if my experience takes place at a bar?
You will not run afoul of regulations if you take your guests to your favourite local bars that are licensed under the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW). However, as a tour host you have a responsibility for the health and safety of your guests and should take particular care in relation to an experience that involves the consumption of alcohol.
What if my experience is BYO, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
You will not need a liquor licence to allow guests to bring their own alcohol.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What else do I need to keep in mind?
If you brew your own alcohol, you will be considered a manufacturer of alcohol. In addition to holding a liquor licence, you will also need to apply for an excise manufacturer licence. Further information about obtaining an excise manufacturer licence is available here.
As a manufacturer of alcohol, you must comply with any applicable health standards and labelling requirements for alcohol under the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code. Further details may be found on the NSW Food Authority website.
You will generally be required to pay excise duty on alcohol you brew, even where the alcohol is for personal use.
If my experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes: age of guests and location.
You should make sure that all attendees meet the minimum drinking age of 18. It is also not permitted to drink alcohol in some public places. You should contact your local council for more information. For example, the City of Sydney has a factsheet about alcohol-free zones in that local area.
Please be aware of potential criminal offences and financial penalties for failure to comply with the liquor regulations, including by selling liquor to a person under 18.
If your experience will also involve preparing or serving food, we encourage you to take a look at our information section about experiences involving food. Similarly, if your experience will combine alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).