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How Much Does a Liquor Licence Cost in Ontario?

Helping Canadian Businesses Get Licences, Stay Onside And Resolve Their Legal Challenges.

If you want to sell alcohol in Ontario, you will need to obtain a liquor licence. The cost of a liquor licence in Ontario depends on various factors, including the type of licence you need, the size of your establishment, the location, and the duration of the licence. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the costs involved in obtaining a liquor licence in Ontario.

Understanding Liquor Licences in Ontario

Before we dive into the costs, let’s take a quick look at the types of liquor licences available in Ontario. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the regulatory body responsible for issuing liquor licences in the province. The AGCO offers several types of liquor licences, including:

  • Manufacturer’s Licence
  • Manufacturer’s On-Site Retail Store Licence
  • Retail Store Authorization
  • Special Occasion Permit
  • Catering Authorization

Each of these licences has different fees associated with it, and you will need to determine which licence is right for your business needs.

Types of Liquor Licences

The type of liquor licence you need will depend on your business operations. For example, if you produce alcohol, you will need a Manufacturer’s Licence. A Manufacturer’s On-Site Retail Store Licence allows manufacturers to sell their own alcohol from their premises. Liquor Sales Licence lets you sell alcohol from a retail store, while a Catering Authorization allows caterers to serve alcohol at events. A Special Occasion Permit (SOP) allows for the sale and service of alcohol at special events such as weddings, charity events and fundraisers.

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The Application Process

To apply for a liquor licence in Ontario, you must submit your application to the AGCO. The application process can be complex, and it is recommended that you hire a consultant or lawyer familiar with the process. Once the AGCO receives your application, it will be reviewed by the licensing department to ensure that your business meets the requirements for obtaining a liquor licence. This includes complying with applicable liquor law and other regulations.

Legal Requirements and Regulations

It is important to note that once you obtain your liquor licence, you will be required to comply with all legal requirements and regulations related to the sale and service of alcohol. This includes following guidelines on serving alcohol responsibly and complying with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations can result in fines and penalties, as well as the suspension or revocation of your liquor licence.

Factors Affecting Liquor Licence Costs

The cost of a liquor licence in Ontario is determined by several factors. Here, we will explore some of the key factors that affect liquor licence costs, including:

Licence Type and Duration

The fee for a liquor licence in Ontario will depend on the type of licence you need and the length of time it is valid. For example, a Manufacturer’s Licence can cost up to $3,150 for the first two years, while a Special Occasion Permit is about $50 to $150 per day.

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Additional Permits and Endorsements

Depending on your business operations, you may need additional permits and endorsements to sell or serve alcohol in Ontario. These permits and endorsements will also add to the cost of your liquor licence. For example, if you plan to allow customers to consume alcohol on your premises, you may need to obtain a Patio Endorsement, which will add to the cost of your liquor licence.

Breakdown of Liquor Licence Fees in Ontario

Now that we’ve discussed the factors affecting liquor licence costs, let’s take a closer look at the breakdown of the fees involved in obtaining a liquor licence in Ontario:

Application Fees

The application fee for a liquor licence in Ontario varies depending on the type of licence you need. For example, liquor sales licence application costs $1,055 for a two year term or $1,355 for a four year term.

Renewal Fees

To renew your liquor licence, you will need to pay a renewal fee. The renewal fee for a Manufacturer’s Licence is up to $3,150, while the fee for a Catering Authorization is no additional fee.

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Transfer Fees

If you sell your business or transfer ownership of your liquor licence, you will need to pay a transfer fee. The transfer fee for a Manufacturer’s Licence is $1,000, while the fee for a Liquor Delivery Licence is $500.

How to Save on Liquor Licence Costs

There are a few ways to save on the cost of obtaining a liquor licence in Ontario. Some tips include:

Taking Advantage of Government Incentives

The Ontario Government offers some incentives to businesses looking to obtain a liquor licence. For example, if you are a brewery or winery, you may be eligible for a Manufacturer’s Licence at a reduced rate.

Properly Maintaining Your Licence

Finally, properly maintaining your liquor licence can help you avoid fines and penalties, which can add up over time. Make sure you comply with all legal requirements and regulations related to the sale and service of alcohol.

Conclusion

Obtaining a liquor licence in Ontario can be a complex and costly process. The fees vary depending on the type of license you need, the size and location of your establishment, and the length of time the licence is valid. Properly researching the different types of licences available and working with a consultant or lawyer familiar with the process can help you save money and ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and regulations.

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