Liquor Licences

If you intend to serve alcohol at your restaurant, you will need to apply for a Liquor Licence. These include:

  • Food-Primary Licence: for selling liquor by the glass at businesses (restaurants) where the primary purpose is to serve food.
  • Liquor-Primary Licence:  for selling liquor by the glass at businesses where the primary purpose is to sell liquor (bars, as well as stadiums, theatres, aircraft, etc.) as well as other businesses that wish to serve liquor as an additional service to their primary business (spas, salons, art galleries, etc).
  • Manufacturer's Licence: for making liquor at a winery, brewery or distillery.  Manufacturers can also apply to add a lounge endorsement to their licence.

Businesses may have multiple licences for different portions of the establishment (for example, a business may contain both a food-primary restaurant and liquor-primary lounge).

If you intend to sell liquor or other taxable goods, you must register to collect Provincial Sales Tax (PST). For more information on PST and how it applies to restaurant operators and liquor sellers see: PST Bulletin PST 119 – Restaurants and Liquor Sellers (PDF).

Apply for a Liquor Licence

Contact: The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB)
Timeline: 4-6 weeks (Food-Primary), other licence types may take longer

To access Liquor Licence applications, see the LCLB Forms and Fees page.

Ensure you submit all required supporting documents. Incomplete applications will cause delays. For a Food-Primary Liquor Licence, this will include:

Other Liquor Licences – such as Liquor-Primary or Manufacturer Licences – require different supporting documents and have different timelines. For details, see Applying for a Liquor Licence.

For help, contact the LCLB Licensing Help Desk at 250-952-7049 (toll free at 1-866-209-2111), or contact your local LCLB location.

Complete interview and inspections

Contact: The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB)
Timeline: Varies

Once your application has been reviewed and is considered complete, you will receive a letter with instructions on how to contact your local liquor inspector.

Your inspector will conduct an educational interview and inspect your establishment. If the inspector is satisfied, they will recommend the Liquor Licence be approved. 

In some regions, a limited number of inspectors are available. To avoid scheduling delays, you should arrange for these inspections as early as possible.