The following liquor license requirements are relevant to bars, pubs, nightclubs, theatres, stadiums, and recreation and convention centers. While these requirements are specific to applying for a primary liquor license in BC, similar information will be useful to businesses applying for liquor licenses in Alberta, Ontario and other provinces in Canada.

In BC, it takes 7-12 months to obtain a liquor-primary license.

BC Liquor License Requirements Checklist

In BC, required documentation consists of:

  • Consent to criminal record check
  • Proof of identity: photocopy of the driver’s license or other government issued ID (such as a passport) of applicants and co-applicants
  • Proof of business ownership
  • Proof of property ownership or a lease agreement. The lease agreement must not expire within 12 months of being issued a liquor-primary license
  • A scaled site plan showing the property location, road access, egress and parking.
  • Sketch of proposed signage
  • A map of facilities located near your location (other pubs, bars, schools, community centers)

Read more about getting a liquor license in BC.

Alberta Liquor License Requirements Checklist

The Alberta process is far more detailed than BC’s requirements. However, there are a few requirements that are common to all applicants.

In addition to the usual criminal records check and proof of ID, applicants for Class A, B, or C licenses are required to provide:

  • Proposed food menu
  • Floor plans
  • Other space and location-related documentation
  • Other application details as requested (to be posted on the website for 21 calendar days)

If your application is approved, you will be advised of the documentation required to complete the application. In the case of a company, you will also need to provide the following:

  • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and completion of a Particulars of Incorporation Form
  • Partnership Agreements, Franchise Agreements, etc., where applicable
  • Business license or written approval of the municipality
  • Lease or Certificate of Title
  • Annual license fee
  • Final inspection approval documents

Read more about getting a liquor license in Alberta.

Ontario Liquor License Requirements Checklist

The following items must be submitted to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to begin processing a new liquor sales license application:

  • Application for a New Liquor Sales License Form
  • Application fee payment
  • Establishment Description Form
  • Corporate Structure Form
  • Personal History Report (criminal records check and proof of ID)
  • Floor plans of the premises
  • Municipal Information Form
  • Agency Letter of Approval from local fire, building and health departments
  • Capacity calculation for each proposed licensed area
  • Résumé of an experienced staff person, owner, or manager
  • Copy of the Master Business License

Read more about getting a liquor license in Ontario.

Trust the Liquor License Experts at Rising Tide

As you can see, the application processes and liquor license requirements are significantly different from province to province, though many requirements are common to all applicants. Having an expert liquor license consultant on your side, streamlines this often complicated and confusing process.

Let Rising Tide Consultants guide you through the various websites, pdf manuals and guides, and online forms. We will ensure your application is completed correctly within your time frame. Contact us for guidance on your liquor license application.

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