Applying for a Liquor Delivery Licence in Ontario: A Guide
Delivering liquor in Ontario, Canada requires a permit, and you can apply for one from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). A Liquor Delivery Service licence is valid for two (or four) years and renewal is needed in case you still want to continue delivering liquor in your area.
The Guide is adapted from the Licence to Deliver Liquor Guide put out by the AGCO themselves.
Why You Need A Liquor Delivery Licence: How to Apply
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, obtaining a liquor delivery licence has become essential for anyone looking to enter the alcohol delivery industry. This crucial document grants individuals and businesses the legal authority to distribute alcoholic beverages directly to consumers’ doorsteps.
All applications regarding distribution and selling liquor must be done through AGCO’s portal, iAGCO. All applications, endorsements, and permits in the liquor business are managed by AGCO. To apply, make sure you create an account first.
- The application for a Liquor Sale Licence is not free. For the applicable fee, check it here.
- You can make payments online as long as you have a Visa, MasterCard, Visa Debit, MasterCard Debit, or Interac Online.
- When using iAGCO online, you cannot use cash or cheque for payment. If you have to make a payment of $30,000 or more, you have to use a wire transfer or use electronic funds to settle the payment. If you have questions regarding payment, contact AGCO at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876.
- Application is only processed once payment is received and verified by AGCO.
- Refund is not allowed once payment is completed.
Steps in applying for a liquor delivery service licence
To apply for a licence to operate a Liquor Delivery Service, visit iAGCO and create an account – or just click here. Through this portal, you can submit all your requirements and check the status of your application.
If your requirements are incomplete, AGCO will contact you through your iAGCO account.
If you meet all requirements, your application can get approved in as fast as two months.
In case there is concern regarding your prospective liquor delivery service operation, you will be asked to attend a meeting in person or via conference call. AGCO will let you know the meeting schedule and place (if in person) or the time and link (if via video conference). Once the meeting is done, AGCO or the staff who handled the meeting may take one the following steps:
- Give your application a recommendation for approval
- Move the decision date to later
- Give your application a Notice of Proposal if it is rejected
If you receive a Notice of Proposal from the Registrar, you can request a hearing from the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). More information about the hearing process will be provided by LAT.
If your application meets all requirements set by the LLCA, you made the appropriate payment, and the Registrar is satisfied with your application, your licence application is approved.
For the transfer of business, you need to send proof of transfer to show that you completed the purchase of the business from the current licensee. Once reviewed and approved, the Registrar will approve and release your licence.
What you Need to Prepare
To apply for a Liquor Delivery Service Licence, you need to prepare the following:
- Your payment
- Entity disclosure
All applicants must provide an entity disclosure and for entities holding direct and indirect outstanding shares of more than 10%
- Personal disclosure
If you belong to the following group, then you must provide a personal disclosure
- If you have sole proprietorship of the business
- If you are an officer or a director
- If you are a partner
- If you are a shareholder owning more than 10% of shares or class of shares
- If you are an on-site manager
- Signed form
- Applicant signature – Corporation – if you are part of a corporation
- Partner/s signature if you are in a partnership, even for a limited partnership
- Applicant signature if represented by an Agent if you are not available to personally submit your application
The AGCO Personal and Entity Disclosure Requirements Guide can help you learn more about entity disclosure among other information that you need to complete before sending your application.
If you are applying for a transfer of licence, you need to prepare the following:
- The consent form or agreement that you agree to transfer your licence (Consent to Transfer form)
- Confirmation that the business has been successfully purchased (Proof of Transfer)
- If the current licence expires in less than six weeks, it is best to just apply for a renewal of licence first before processing a transfer request. Chances are that the current licence might expire first before the transfer of licence gets approved.
- The Registrar has the authority to suspend, reject, or revoke a licence due to pending proceedings and if this happens, the Registrar doesn’t need to review your application for Transfer of Licence. Before applying for a Transfer of Licence, check with the licensee if there are any pending proceedings that the business has to deal with.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Licence Holder
Before a licensee can make a purchase, an order needs to be placed first. Liquor can be ordered from any LLCA retail store such as the LCBO, manufacturer’s on-site and off-site retail stores, licensed grocery stores, and the Beer Store.
A licensee cannot purchase liquor from any authorized grocery store where they might have a personal interest.
Customers can also place an order for liquor and food altogether from licensed liquor stores. The Liquor Delivery Service can act on behalf of its licensed customers as long as the establishment is aware of it.
If needed, a licensed Liquor Delivery Service can also deliver liquor for a licensed liquor store. An eligible customer can order directly from a licensed liquor store and the liquor store will be the one to contact a licensed delivery service for delivery.
Purchased liquor can only be delivered to the provided private address or place. The delivered liquor must be checked to ensure that it is still sealed and not tampered with.
Everyone involved in the transaction, from the liquor delivery service to the eligible buyer, must be 18 years and above. They must also fully understand their obligations and follow the Registrar’s set regulations and standards when it comes to selling, delivering, or buying liquor.
All orders placed on the Liquor Delivery Service for delivery should include all necessary information including the name of the licensee and address.
- Customer’s name and address
- Date of order and delivery
- The exact quantity of the liquor to be delivered
- Delivery address
All delivery information must be kept for a year by the licensee.
If a retail store requests a delivery service, the copy of the order must be kept for a year as well by the licensee.
Hours of Operation
Allowed delivery hours by the Liquor Delivery Service are between 9am and 11pm. Liquor orders must only be placed or ordered from licensed retail stores or establishments that sell liquors and wine.
Once picked up for delivery, licensees of Liquor Delivery Service can store the liquor they picked up if the customer requested to.
Employees, contractors, and licensees are the only person that has access to stored liquors. However, licensees cannot store the liquor in their homes and it is their responsibility to keep the liquor sealed and protected from tampering while in their possession.
A Licensees Social Responsibility
As a licensed Liquor Delivery Service, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not delivering liquor to minors or anyone under the age of 19.
You need to to ask for an identification in case you suspect a customer to be a minor. The only acceptable identification to be accepted are government-issued identification with the customer’s birth date and photo.
It is a licensee’s responsibility to not deliver liquor to customers who appear to be intoxicated or drunk already.
Partnership with Manufacturers
Liquor Delivery Service licensees can enter into a partnership with any manufacturers and their on-site or off-site retail stores so they can promote and encourage more customers to use their service. They can also partner with The Beer Store for this purpose. It is important to take note though that entering into a partnership with a manufacturer doesn’t stop a licensee from making a partnership with other manufacturers in the area.
As a licensee, it is expected that you, along with your employees and contractors are aware of your responsibilities and obligations when it comes to selling, distributing, and delivering liquor products as established by the Registrar.
You deserve a dependable and reliable lawyer on your side for liquor licensing matters. Harrison Jordan is a Toronto-based lawyer assisting business with their liquor delivery licensing needs, including AGCO matters and applications for AGCO Liquor Selling Licences. Call him at +1 647 371 0032 or email him today. He’ll get back to you as soon as he can.