Government of B.C.

What you'll need

Overview

Food Primary licences are for establishments where the primary focus is the service of food such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Cafes

Establishments without fully equipped kitchens are not eligible. This includes:

  • Take-out restaurants
  • Mall food fairs
  • Food trucks
  • Banquet halls

Fees

There is a $950 application and first-year licensing fee that is charged when we receive your application. 

The annual renewal fee is calculated based on the amount of liquor you purchase.


Terms and conditions

Review the Food Primary Licence Terms and Conditions (PDF, 472KB) and guidelines for liquor advertising and promotion to understand the terms and conditions of your licence.

Apply

1

Check requirements for your business type

Submit documentation based on your business type.

The business types include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Private corporation
  • Partnership
  • Public corporation
  • Society or non-profit corporation
  • Other applicant types

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2

Gather necessary documents

A complete application includes a

  • Hand-drawn or computer-generated floor plan of your business. It must include:
    • Stamp of occupant load - from your local government
    • Any partial walls and planters
    • Areas where liquor will be served from (bar, etc.)
    • Entrances and stairs
    • Furniture layout
    • Location of patio(s)
    • Kitchen and equipment
    • Washrooms
    • Labels for each room
  • Sample restaurant sign

3

Complete online application

You will need:

  • Required business documents
  • Personal History Summary form (s)
  • Floor plan of establishment (restaurant), with occupant load
  • Sample sign for establishment
  • Payment

As part of the Personal History Summary, attach the following documents, if required:

Apply online

4

Check conditional requirements

To request liquor service beyond midnight or apply for Patron Participation Entertainment, include:

  • Local government or Indigenous Nation sign-off

If your restaurant is at a winery, brewery or distillery, include:

  • Site map
  • Description of how areas are separated
  • Agricultural Land Commission approval
    • If on Agricultural Land Reserve
  • Apply for a Manufacturer structural change online
    • If the food licence will change manufacturing service areas

5

Customize your licence

An endorsement allows you to use your space for different purposes. You can add the following to your licence:

  • Patron participation entertainment
  • Catering
  • Temporary Use Area (TUA)
  • Third party operator

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6

Get Approval in Principle

Once you've submitted a complete application, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) works with the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) to review your application.

If everything is in order, the branches offer an Approval in Principle.

They also send you the name and contact information of your local liquor inspector within 30 days of submitting a complete application.

7

Arrange a final inspection

When you are ready to open, contact your local liquor inspector for a final inspection.

If the inspection goes well, your food primary licence will be issued.

Amend your licence

If you already have a licence and want to make changes, find out how to

Contact

Contact the client support team.

In Victoria Office:

In Canada Toll Free:

Liquor licences: