Regulatory Services FAQs

Who can apply for a liquor license?

The three legal entities eligible to apply for a liquor license are sole proprietorship (individual), partnership, or incorporation. All individuals, officers, or directors must be of the full age of 19 years.

Where do I get an application?

Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation is now accepting online applications through its Liquor Licensing and Compliance Electronic System (LACES). Click here for more information.

Applications may also be obtained from NLC’s office at 85 O’Leary Avenue, St. John’s, or you may contact us at 724-1159. 

What is the cost to apply for, or renew, a liquor license?

Applications and licenses are subject to the License Fee Schedule which can be viewed here. Please note that application and license fees are not refundable.

What are the requirements for a license?

Depending on the class of license, there are various approvals/documentation that must be submitted to complete the application process:

  1. Personal Data Sheet
    1. If incorporated, each director/shareholder must submit a Personal Data Sheet.
    2. If a partnership, each partner must submit a Personal Data Sheet.
    3. If a sole proprietorship, the individual must submit a Personal Data Sheet.
  2. Written (current) Municipal approval;
  3. Written approval from the Provincial Fire Commissioner’s Office;
  4. One set of original plans, drawn to scale, outlining the proposed licensed area and including dimensions of clearly identified rooms (including storage and the total number of fixtures in the men’s and ladies’ washrooms);
  5. A current signed copy of a lease or purchase agreement, or another document that verifies ownership and/or control of the establishment (e.g., Property Tax Bill);
  6. Verification of advertising;
  7. Written approval from Buildings Accessibility and Fire and Life Safety;
  8. If incorporated, a current certified or current stamped copy of Corporations Act, Form 6, Notice of Directors;
  9. Approval from the Federal Department of Transportation;
  10. Approval from the Federal Department of Customs & Excise;
  11. Approval from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation;
  12. Verification of Food Establishment License;
  13. Approval from Commanding Officer (CFS Base/Station);
  14. Approval from Fire Department (CFS Base/Station); and
  15. Letter from Brewery.

Listed below are the licensing requirements necessary for each different type of license:

Type of License Licensing Requirements
Airport Establishment #s 1 - 8
Bonded Warehouse #s 1, 4, 7, 8 and 10
Brewer’s Agent #s 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8
Brewer’s Distributor #s 1, 5, 8 and 15
Brewery #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10
Club #s 2 – 8
Distillery #s 1, 2 and 10
Hotel/Motel & Tourist Home #s 1 – 8, 11 and 12
Institute #s 1 - 8
Lounge #s 1 – 8, and 12 (if applicable)
Military Mess #s 2 - 8
Military Mess (located on CFS Base/Station) #s 4, 13 and 14
Recreational Facility #s 1 - 8
Restaurant & Restaurant/Lounge #s 1-8 and 12
Transportation & Tour Boat Operation #s 1, 8 and 9
Winery #s 1, 4, 5, 8 and 10

What advertising requirements do I have to fulfill for a Liquor Establishment License?

The advertising requirement that must be fulfilled when the application is being made for an establishment consists of both newspaper advertisements and public notices:

  • Newspaper advertisements (measuring at least 2” x 3”) must appear in a local newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks. Copies of the ads, along with the name of the newspaper and insertion dates, must be submitted with the application.
  • Public notices (measuring 8.5” x 11”) must be posted in three conspicuous places within the specified Municipality or Electoral District (e.g., public bulletin boards, retail outlets, restaurants), in proximity to the proposed site, for three consecutive weeks. After the expiration of the three weeks, officials of the premises on which the notices were posted must sign the back of the notices as verification of posting.  All such notices are to accompany the application.

The required wording for Newspaper Advertisements and Public Notices:

“Public Notice”

“Three weeks from _______________________ application will be made to
                              (date of initial publication)

 the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation for a ___________________
                                                                                (type of license)

 to sell spirits, beers, and wines at  _________________________________
                                                     (give street address or exact location)
 
 in the Community of ______________________________ in the
                                    (give name of the community)

 Provincial District of _____________________. ______________________.”
                               (state provincial district)        (name of applicant)         

Applicants must ensure that the exact type of license is denoted in the advertising (for example, “Lounge License”).

Unless otherwise stated, advertisements to apply for an establishment license are valid for six months from the date of the last publication. If the six month period lapses, the applicant is required to re-advertise.

What happens when I submit my application?

When you submit your completed application, fee and additional required information, the application will be reviewed. Applications will be considered only after the fee and all approvals/documentation are received. When the premises is completed and an occupancy card is obtained from the Provincial Fire Commissioner’s Office (if applicable), a Liquor Control Inspector from the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation will conduct an inspection of the premises to ensure that all of the requirements have been met and answer any questions you may have regarding the Liquor Control Act or Liquor Licensing Regulations. Once a satisfactory inspection is conducted a license will be issued. Licensees must ensure that their license is posted in a prominent place on the premises.

How do I purchase alcohol for my licensed premise?

All spirits and wine must be purchased from the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation or one of its designated Liquor Express Stores and all beer must be purchased from the Corporation, a Liquor Express Store or a brewer’s distributor. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased under the licensee’s license number and all invoices and receipts for such purchases must be kept by the licensee.

What are the hours of sale and consumption

For establishment licensees alcohol may only be sold and consumed during the prescribed hours. The hours of sale are from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. (or 3:00 a.m. on the days immediately succeeding Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) with consumption permitted until 2:30 a.m. (or 3:30 a.m. on the days immediately succeeding Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

What is a Catering License?

A Catering License allows the sale of beverages for consumption off a licensee’s licensed premises with food which is supplied by the licensee in the form of meals by way of an off premises catering service. A Catering License will only be issued to an applicant that already holds a liquor establishment license. Click here for more information.

How do I obtain additions or changes to a License?

Applications must be submitted to NLC to obtain permission:

  • For minors to be on the licensed premises; 
  • To extend the existing premises for a special occasion;
  • To renovate or alter the premises; or
  • For a Secondary License (Catering or Patio)

You can obtain applications for minors, extension to premises, alter/renovate, and Secondary Licenses here on our website, from NLC’s office at 85 O’Leary Avenue, St. John’s, or you may contact us at 724-1159.

What are the requirements for a Brewer’s Distributor License?

To obtain a Brewer’s Distributor License you must submit the following:

  • A completed application;
  • Personal Data Sheets for all partners or directors;
  • A current signed copy of a lease or purchase agreement, or another document that verifies ownership and/or control of the establishment (e.g., Property Tax Bill);
  • Written approval from the Brewery or Breweries whose product you plan to distribute; and
  • If incorporated, a current certified or current stamped copy of Corporations Act, Form 6, Notice of Directors.

What are the requirements for a Brewer’s Agent License?
What happens when I submit my application?

To obtain a Brewer’s Agent License you must submit the following:

  • A completed application;
  • Personal Data Sheets for all shareholders/directors;
  • Written (current) municipal approval;
  • Plans drawn to scale including storage area(s);
  • A current signed copy of a lease or purchase agreement, or another document that verifies ownership and/or control of the establishment (e.g., Property Tax Bill); and
  • If incorporated, a current certified or current stamped copy of Corporations Act, Form 6, Notice of Directors.

When you submit your completed application, fee and additional required information, the application will be reviewed. Applications will be considered only after the fee and all approvals/documentation are received. A Liquor Establishment Inspector from the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation will conduct an inspection of the premises to ensure that all of the requirements have been met and answer any questions you may have regarding the Liquor Control Act or Liquor Licensing Regulations. Once a satisfactory inspection is conducted, a license will be issued. Licensees must ensure that their license is posted in a prominent place on the premises.  Licensees must also ensure a price list is posted. All beer must be purchased under the licensee’s license number from the NLC or a brewer’s distributor, and all invoices and receipts for such purchases must be kept by the licensee.

Can I transfer my existing establishment license?

Yes, to transfer an existing establishment license an application must be made to the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation. The documentation required is the same as above for new licenses. However, you must also have a letter from the current licensee agreeing to transfer the license. If it is the intention to operate the business while your application is being processed, a letter from the current licensee allowing use of license is required. Unless otherwise directed by the NLC, you do not need newspaper advertisements or public notice postings. Click here for more information.

Special Event Licenses

Who can apply?

Any charitable or nonprofit organization that is raising funds for charitable purposes and does not hold an establishment license is eligible to apply for a special event license.

Where can I obtain an application?

You can obtain an application from the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation, 85 O’Leary Ave., St. John’s or you can download the application form here. Applications and required fees must be submitted to Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation, Regulatory Services, P.O. Box 8750, Station A, 90 Kenmount Road, St. John's, NL, A1B 3V1. To ensure that your application is processed, it should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of the proposed event along with the fee.

What does a Special Event License authorize?

A special event license authorizes the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at one location only for a specified time. One event can include two venues operating at different times. All alcoholic beverages sold must be consumed the day(s) and during the hours prescribed in that license. All liquor for resale must be purchased from the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation or one of its designated Liquor Express Stores and all beer must be purchased from the Corporation or a licensed Brewer’s Distributor. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased under the licensee’s license number and any invoices or receipts for such purchases must be kept by the licensee.

Where can I hold a Special Event?

A special event license may be obtained for indoor events, outdoor events, or events that combine usage of indoor and outdoor facilities provided all requirements are met.

Indoor Event: For indoor events, submit the completed form and required fee. Please specify the area(s) of the building(s) to be used for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and include a Capacity Card for the location. In a stadium, the area commonly referred to as the “Ice Surface Area” may be used for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, but sale and consumption shall not take place in the seating area of the stadium unless specifically authorized.

Please note that the proposed location must not hold a permanent liquor license.

Outdoor event: To obtain a Special Event License for an outdoor event, the application must be accompanied by a copy of a site plan clearly showing the exit and entrance, the service bar and the location of any buildings or tents to be used in relation to the proposed licensed area. The location of washroom facilities must also be shown. The event area must be adequately enclosed by double fencing which is no less than four feet in height, includes a 7 foot buffer zone, and is secured in such a manner as to ensure that it remains upright and secure during the hours of operation. There must be a distinctive entrance and exit from the enclosure that is supervised at all times. Sufficient lighting must be installed for evening functions.

Combined Event: An event may take place in a combined indoor/outdoor facility or it may begin at an outdoor location and be moved to an indoor facility. For an event combining the use of indoor and outdoor facilities, the requirements for both must be fulfilled. This means that the applicant must specify the area(s) of the building(s) to be used and submit capacity cards as well as a copy of an outdoor site plan.

Note: For all special events, the licensee is responsible for ensuring that the only alcoholic beverages brought onto the licensed area are those which are purchased under his/her license. The licensee is also responsible for ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are removed from the premises by customers.

What is the cost of a Special Event License?

For Registered Charities, an application fee of $100 per event (providing the event takes place over consecutive days) is required for a Special Event License. For Non-Profit Organizations, the application fee is $200 per event (providing the event takes place over consecutive days). To ensure the prompt and timely issuance of your Special Event License, submit the applicable fee along with your completed application and event site plan (for outdoor or combined events), to Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation at least two weeks before the scheduled event.

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