Applying for a Liquor Licence or Permit

IMPORTANT INFORMATION RE: COVID-19

The LCRB is aware of the recent announcements regarding the COVID-19 situation in BC and the questions they may be raising for licensees. This is an unprecedented and quickly-evolving situation and we appreciate your patience as we focus on gathering the information required to address questions and communicate answers and next steps for licensees, once available.

At this time, the licensing division of the LCRB is working to maintain business operations and excessive delays are not anticipated. However, as this is a quickly-evolving situation that may require changes to our business delivery, we suggest you regularly visit this website for any new announcements or updates.

Update on COVID-19 and Hand Sanitizer:

In response to the unprecedented circumstances of the provincial public health emergency related to COVID-19, and in a dedicated effort to increase public health and safety, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is now authorizing licensed manufacturers who are distillers, brewery licence holders and winery licence holders to use their establishments to manufacture and/or package, sell or donate alcohol-based hand sanitizer until July 15, 2020, through Policy Directive 20-08 and 20-09. These policies will be reviewed as the provincial health context changes. If you have any questions about these policies, please email LCRBLiquorPolicy@gov.bc.ca

Please note: any and all inquiries about the production of hand sanitizer must be directed to Health Canada:  hc.nnhpd-dpsnso.sc@canada.ca

Update re: Liquor Primary and Food Primary Licensee Liquor Delivery

To provide essential support and increased opportunities to generate revenue for the hospitality industry while assisting the public in observing social distancing measures in the present provincial health emergency in BC related to COVID-19, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is temporarily permitting liquor primary and food primary licensees to sell and deliver packaged liquor of all types to patrons, with the purchase of a meal, for takeout or delivery until July 15, 2020. For any questions regarding this policy please email LCRBLiquorPolicy@gov.bc.ca

Liquor Licences​

These are the different types of liquor licences and permits you can apply for. Some license types allow for additional endorsements or authorizations that become part of the licence – each with separate application fees. For additional information, click on the page for the licence type that interests you.

New applications for licensee retail stores or wine stores are currently not being accepted. This is due to a government-imposed moratorium on new licensee retail stores until July 1, 2022, and an indefinite moratorium on new wine stores. There is no wait list available for people interested in applying.

If you hold an existing liquor licence and would like to make a change to it, including applying for an endorsement, please visit the Changing a Liquor Licence page.

  • Food Primary – for businesses where the primary purpose is to serve food (restaurants).

  • Liquor Primary – for 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).  Private clubs may choose to apply for a liquor primary club licence, which is a subclass of the liquor primary licence

  • Manufacturer – for wineries, breweries or distilleries

  • Agent – for independent liquor agents who market products from liquor manufacturers outside of B.C.

  • Catering − for catering companies who wish to serve liquor in addition to food, with food service as the primary purpose

  • UBrew and UVin (Ferment-on-Premises) – for businesses that sell ingredients, equipment and provide advice for customers to make their own beer, wine, cider or coolers

  • Licensee Retail Store − for selling liquor by the bottle at retail stores (often called private liquor stores)

  • Wine Store – for wine stores including winery-operated stores, independent wine stores, VQA stores and tourist wine stores

  • Special Wine Store – available to eligible grocery stores only, the special wine store licence permits the sale of both domestic and imported wine (including cider, mead and sake) on grocery store shelves.

Liquor Permits

  • Special Event Permit – for individuals and groups holding special events (such as community celebrations, weddings or banquets)
  • Ethyl Alcohol Purchase Permit –  for purchasing ethyl alcohol for commercial and industrial use
  • Charitable Auction Permit - for registered charities and non-profit organizations that wish to hold liquor auctions to raise funds for a charitable purpose

Exemptions

  • Non-Beverage Alcohol Exemption – for products containing alcohol that are not intended for drinking (such as culinary, medicinal, or toiletry products)