Apply for a convenience store or grocery store licence

Learn who is eligible, how much it costs, what you’ll need to prepare, and how to apply online.

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iAGCO

Applications will open on June 17th. You will need an account to apply on our self-service online portal, iAGCO.

Annual Fees

Convenience Store Licence: $500 

Grocery Store Licence: $3,250

Contact us

Need help? Contact us now by email or telephone.

Overview

Existing grocery store licence holders: If you currently hold an active beer and cider grocery store licence or a beer and wine grocery store licence, please visit the Existing grocery retailers page to learn more about what’s changing.

There are two types of alcohol retail licences for convenience and grocery stores.

  • Convenience Store Licence: This licence allows you to sell beer, wine (including cider), and ready-to-drink alcohol products in a retail store that meets certain eligibility requirements and has 4,000 square feet or less of retail floor space. 
  • Grocery Store Licence: This licence allows you to sell beer, wine (including cider), and ready-to-drink alcohol products in a retail store that meets certain eligibility requirements and has more than 4,000 square feet of retail floor space. 
     

Eligibility

Who is eligible

You may be eligible for a licence if your business meets these legal requirements. Please see the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) and its regulations for full details.

RequirementConvenience store licenceGrocery store licence

Retail floor space

indoor space that is fully enclosed by walls in which products or services are offered for sale to the public. This does not include outdoor space.

(See Additional eligibility information for help on how to calculate retail floor space.)
 

Any store with 4,000 square feet or less of retail floor space should apply for a Convenience Store Licence.

As an example, a small grocery store with less than 4,000 square feet of retail floor space should apply for the convenience store licence.
 

Any store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail floor space should apply for a Grocery Store Licence.

As an example, a large convenience store or a qualifying big box retail store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail floor space should apply for the grocery store licence. 
 

Amount of retail floor space dedicated to selling foodAt least half of your retail floor space is used for food products (excluding prepared food products that may be consumed on site). At least 10,000 square feet OR half of your retail floor space is dedicated to food products (excluding prepared food products that may be consumed on site).
Food varietyYou sell a variety of at least five of the following types of food products: canned foods, frozen foods, dry goods, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, meat or meat alternatives, dairy or dairy alternatives, non-alcoholic beverages, baked goods and snack foods.You sell a variety of each of the types of food products: canned foods, frozen foods, dry goods, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, meat or meat alternatives, dairy or dairy alternatives, non-alcoholic beverages, baked goods and snack foods.
Not a pharmacyYour store does not primarily identify to the public as a pharmacy. A pharmacy can be located inside the store.Your store does not primarily identify to the public as a pharmacy. A pharmacy can be located inside the store.

For full eligibility requirements, see the Convenience Store Licence Obligation Guide and/or the Grocery Store Licence Obligation Guide.

Who is not eligible

You are not eligible for a licence if, for example:

  • Your store is primarily identified to the public as a pharmacy as defined under the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act. 
  • The retail floor space isn’t fully enclosed by walls (such as kiosks, stands or stalls).
  • You do not meet the food product requirements.
  • Your store is located within a First Nations community that has decided not to allow alcohol retail stores. 
     

Additional eligibility information

How to calculate the retail floor space

You can find out the retail floor space by measuring the length and width of the space and multiplying these values (area = length x width).

Example: 

30 feet long x 60 feet wide = 1800 square feet

Spaces where products or services aren’t offered to the public, such as storage rooms or washrooms, should be removed from the calculation. You can do this by measuring the non-usable space(s) and subtracting it from the total. 

Example: 

Main sales area: 30 feet long x 60 feet wide = 1800 square feet
Storage room: 5 feet long x 5 feet wide = 25 square feet
Net retail floor space: 1800 square feet - 25 square feet = 1775 square feet

You can calculate spaces with irregular shapes by breaking up the area into smaller boxes, calculating the area of each box, and adding up all the areas. 

The image below is an example of how to calculate retail floor space.

Image