Applying for a Liquor Licence or Permit

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.

Liquor Licences​

  • 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


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