Liquor Licences

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 licencefor 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 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

Apply for a Liquor licence

Contact the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB)
Timeline: 4-6 weeks (Food-Primary), other licence types may take longer

First steps

Make sure you submit all required supporting documents. Incomplete applications will cause delays.

For a Food primary Liquor Licence, this will include:

Other Liquor Licences

Liquor primary or Manufacturer licences – require different supporting documents and have different timelines. For more details, visit Apply for a Liquor licence or permit.

For help, contact the LCRB Client Support Team at 250-952-7049 (toll free at 1-866-209-2111), or contact your local LCRB regional office.

Complete interview and inspections

Contact the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB)
Timeline: Varies

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.