Government of B.C.

Before you start

Check eligibility of your business to apply for a liquor licence with your local government or Indigenous Nation.

  • Your local government or Indigenous Nation office must sign off on your application before you submit the completed package to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB)

You must have a Business BCeID to access the online licensing portal

Overview

Any business may apply for a Liquor Primary licence except for businesses

  • Directed at minors
  • Businesses operating in a motor vehicle

You need to apply for a Liquor Primary licence to

  • Offer liquor service as an additional service
  • Have a liquor focused service area
    • For example, a spa, art gallery or retail store
  • License a kitchen or, for cooking schools, hold a cooking class inside the dining room

You can apply for a Liquor Primary club licence if

  • Your society, non-profit, club, or organization has at least 50 members who pay annual fees
  • The service area is restricted to members and guests only

Fees

  • $2,200 application fee
    • To be paid when submitting
  • $2,200 first-year licensing fee
    • To be paid when licence is issued
  • Renewal fees are based upon annual liquor sales
  • Some endorsements may have an application or annual fee

Please review the Liquor Primary Licence Terms and Conditions (PDF, 526KB) and guidelines for liquor advertising and promotion to understand the terms and conditions of your licence.

Apply

1

Research your local government or Indigenous Nation requirements

Check requirements for the application and fees, including

  • Development permit
  • Business licensing
  • Zoning
    • Your business must be zoned for liquor service before submitting your application

Start early and understand the process. Depending on your local government or Indigenous Nation's requirements, this step can add processing time. 

2

Check requirements for your business type

The applicant needs to submit documents based on their business type: 

The business types include:

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

Check below to see what's required for your business type.

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3

Write your Letter of Intent

Your Letter of Intent is your chance to customize your licence. Find detailed instructions of writing your letter in the Liquor Primary Application Guide (PDF, 379KB)

You can request the following options in your letter of intent:

  • Catering
  • Event driven
  • Hawking
  • Allowing minors
  • Minors in recreation facility
  • Off-premises sales (brew pub) endorsement
  • Off-premises sales endorsement
  • Temporary Use Area (TUA)
    • For golf courses and ski hills only

Show 8 items
4

Gather necessary documents

Your application must include

  • A floor plan, including
    • Labels for each room
    • Washrooms
    • Liquor service bar(s)
    • Location of patio(s)
    • Dance floor
    • Entrances, stairs
    • Stage
    • Sound or DJ booth
    • Any partial walls, planters
    • Stamp of occupant load
      • From your local government
  • Sample sign
    • With the name and logo of bar
  • Site map with the
    • Location
    • All features
    • Parking
    • Road access

5

Complete online application

You will need

  • Required business documents
  • Personal History form(s)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Two copies of the floor plan of establishment
  • Proposed signage
  • Site map with
  • Payment

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

 

6

Get sign-off from local government or Indigenous Nation office

The local government or Indigenous Nation you identified in your online application will be notified to review your application once you have completed your portion and submitted it online.

The local government or Indigenous Nation will review the application through the liquor and cannabis licensing portal and complete their portion of the licensing process.

You will receive an email notification to log into the liquor and cannabis licensing portal once this process is complete.

7

Conduct a site and community assessment

This step may not be required for all.

If your local government or Indigenous Nation provides comment, they will arrange consultation with the community.

If not, you must post site signs and ads in the newspaper for 30 days to invite community comments. Responses will be accepted for one week. You will have to address any concerns with your local government or Indigenous Nation and/or the LCRB.

This process will take approximately 45 days.

8

Get Approval in Principle

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) reviews your application. If everything is in order they offer an Approval in Principle.

9

Arrange a final inspection

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

If the inspection goes well, you may pay a prorated annual licence fee, and your Liquor 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: