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 & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB)
Timeline: 4-6 weeks (Food-Primary), other licence types may take longer
To access Liquor Licence applications, see the LCRB 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:
- A completed application form (PDF)
- Food Primary Application Guide
- A Personal History Summary and Consent to Criminal Record Search form (PDF)
- A photo-copy of your Driver's Licence, passport or any other government-issued photo-ID
- A sketch of your proposed signs (your name and signage must LCRB-approved).
- A standard 8 1/2 x 11’’ copy of your floor plans, drawn to scale.
- The occupant load – the number of people allowed in the establishment – must be stamped on the plan by local fire or building officials.
- Additional documents, depending on your business structure. For a complete list, see the Food Primary Application Guide from the LCRB to applying for a Food-Primary Liquor Licence.
For help, contact the LCRB Client Support Team at 250-952-7049 (toll free at 1-866-209-2111), or contact your local LCRB location.
Complete interview and inspections
Contact: The B.C. Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch ( LCRB)
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.