Apply for a liquor sales licence

Learn how to apply for a liquor sales licence.



  • Fees for a liquor sales licence are:
    2-year term: $1,055.
    4-year term: $1,355.

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  • Need help? Contact us now by email or telephone. 


As the owner (or representative) of the business, you must apply for the liquor sales licence. To apply for a liquor sales licence, selling or serving food or liquor doesn’t have to be the primary business. You can apply for, manage and renew your licence online using our the iAGCO platform. Licences are available for a two year or a four year term.  

You can combine a liquor sales licence with one or more endorsements. Endorsements are add-ons that allow you to sell and serve liquor in different situations. This is in addition to what you’re allowed to do with a liquor sales licence. These include add-ons for caterers, room service, brew and wine pubs, mini bars and golf courses. For more information, see the endorsements page.


Type of applicationFee (two year term)Fee (four year term)
New application $1,055$1,355

Step 1: Prepare your application

Before you apply for a liquor sales licence, you’ll need to:

  • Verify zoning
    Check with your local municipality to make sure that your location is zoned for the type of business you want to operate

  • Verify your tax compliance
    Use the Ontario Ministry of Finance’s Tax Compliance Verification (TCV) portal to check if your business is in good standing with your tax obligations (this portal will generate your TCV number, which you’ll need for this application)

Documents you’ll need 

  1. Entity disclosure
    Provide the names of anyone or any business that:
    • Has or will have an interest in the business
    • Has or will have a key management or operational role
    • Holds 10% or more of the outstanding shares or a class of shares
  2. Personal disclosure
    Provide personal disclosures from all the following people (where it applies): 
    • Sole proprietors
    • All officers and/or directors
    • All partners
    • Any shareholder holding 10% or more of the outstanding shares or a class of shares
    • On-site manager, if applicable
  3. Signature form 
    Complete the signature form and have the following people sign it:
    • You, the applicant, or the person authorized to sign if the applicant is a corporation
    • Partners (for partnership or limited partnership)
    • An agent authorized to sign (if the application is submitted on behalf of the person applying for the licence)
  4. Floor plans of the location you want to licence 
    You need floor plans that: 
    • Are to scale and show dimensions (length and width)
    • Clearly outline proposed licensed areas
    • Show the layout of the whole location
    • Clearly outline secondary areas (also known as adjacent areas), which could include washrooms, hallways, and stairwells, in a different colour 
    • Are saved as a jpeg, Word document, or PDF
Diagram of sample floorplan

Additional documents you’ll need for your application

The following documents aren’t needed when you submit your application. However, we suggest that you submit them as soon as possible so we can complete your application promptly.

  1. Municipal information form
    Fill out the municipal information form and take it to your local municipal clerk’s office. They’ll need to sign it and date it. The municipality will return the completed form to you.
  2. Agency letters of approval
    These letters are also known as “compliance letters”. You’ll need agency letters of approval from: the building department, the fire marshal (or fire protection officer), and the public health department.
    You can use this agency letter of approval form (although some agencies may want to use their own letterhead). Letters need to show that your location meets the current standards and by-laws each agency is responsible for. Letters need to be signed and dated by the correct person within each agency. Upload signed letters to your application. If you’re applying to license an outdoor area (patio), the agency letters must specify say that they inspected the outdoor area.  
    If the outdoor area is on municipal property, you’ll need an outdoor café boulevard/encroachment agreement from your local municipality.      

If the outdoor area is on private property, you’ll need a letter from the landlord stating that the area is on private property and that they give permission for liquor sales licensing.  

Calculation of capacity

You need a separate capacity for each proposed licensed area.

The maximum capacity must be determined by: 

  • The Building Code Act, 1992
  • The Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, if the Building Code Act, 1992 doesn’t apply
  • Allowing 1.11 square metres per person if neither the Building Code Act, 1992, nor the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 applies

Example of proposed licensed areas:

Floor Level

Exact Location and Description

Indoors or Outdoors

Tiered Seating Yes/No

Estimate Capacity


Southwest section -- dining area


Yes   No


Main floor

South section -- Patio


Yes   No


Main floor

South section -- seating lounge


Yes   No


For more details on floor plans, please refer to Appendix A in the guide.

More support

Step 2: Apply online

To get a liquor sales licence, you’ll need to create an account on the iAGCO portal

Once you’ve set up your iAGCO account, you can:

  • Apply for your liquor sales licence
  • Provide more information
  • Print the licence once it’s approved and manage your licence

Apply for a licence now

Step 3: Wait for a decision

We try to process applications promptly. There may be delays if there are complexities with the application or if we need to more information from you.  We may also impose conditions to your licence that can help to reduce the risks. To learn more about risk-based licensing, please visit the risk-based licensing page. 

Background check

You, your officers, directors and managers of your business may have to go through a police and financial background check. This is part of the standard application process.

If your liquor sales licence application needs public notice, we’ll tell you. 

The AGCO will email you a poster to print. You must:

  • Print the public notice poster 
  • Hang the poster up for a certain number of days at the location you want to licence -- make sure you put it in a place where the public can easily read it from outside the proposed location 

The AGCO will post notice of your proposed liquor sales licence application on the iAGCO portal. Through this process, members of the community can review the notice and raise any concerns or objections during the posting period.

The AGCO will let you know if we receive any objections to the application. These may need to be resolved before you can continue with the application process. We encourage you and everyone involved to find a solution that works for everyone. For more details on outcomes if objections are received, see section 7 of the LLCA

Pre-licensing inspection

We inspect your location before issuing you a liquor sales licence. The AGCO Inspector will make sure that all proposed areas qualify for licensing. They’ll also ensure that the areas match what’s in your application and floor plans. The Inspector will also do walk through to see if there are any other concerns.

Know your responsibilities

As a licensee, you are responsible for meeting all Registrar’s Standards that apply to your licence or endorsement, all applicable laws and regulations (including the Liquor Licence Control Act), and any Terms and Conditions that may be applied to your licence.

Receiving and posting your licence

When you receive your liquor sales licence, print it out and post it somewhere that customers, inspectors and the police can see it.

Public notice process

Most applications for new liquor sales licences need a period of time where notice is posted at the location. This allows the public to submit their concerns about the proposal. Learn more about the public notice process.


We may inspect your location from time to time. If we find anything of concern, an AGCO inspector will often try to work with you to help you solve the issue.  

Hours of sale and service

Liquor can be served between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m. (3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve). You’ll need to clear all signs of liquor service and consumption 45 minutes after this time. This includes clearing all glasses and bottles from tables.

See the hours for liquor sale, service and delivery page for more information. Some licence holders may have conditions on the liquor sales licence that further limit their hours.


You may advertise the name of your business, that you have a liquor sales licence and the general brands or types of liquor you sell. Please read the Registrar’s interim standards and requirements for liquor for more information.

Other important information

Read the compliance and education section. It will give you more information about liquor sales licences. It will also explain what you need to do to comply.

You might also be interested in…

Takeout and delivery

You can sell liquor with food for takeout and delivery orders, in certain circumstances. Please read the Liquor sales licence (including tied house) and mini bar licence guide for more information.


Liquor sales licencees can also apply for “add-ons” to your licence.