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Liquor license application compliance conditions to ensure a successful result.

Many liquor license application compliance conditions must be met at the time of lodging a new liquor license application, as per sections (39) and (41) of the liquor act. The application must be complete and all proof of compliance must be attached. Also address all compliances in all the motivations. Lodging can only be done on a Friday and before you can lodge the application a reference number must be obtained from the Liquor Authorities. Proof of payment, of the prescribed fee, must be attached to the application.

The liquor license application is adjudged by three criteria:

  • The premises must comply. (1)
  • The proposed license holder must comply. (2)
  • General Compliances. (3)
The conditions of compliance varies slightly between the different types of liquor licenses.

Different License types.

According to the liquor act. in terms of section (41) many different types of licenses exist. This variety allows the applicant to select a license type, that will suit the proposed licensed business the best. Each of the license types come with their own specified conditions.

  • On-consumption

    • Accommodation
    • Restaurant
    • Club
    • Night Club
    • Sports Ground
    • Pub
    • Tavern
    • Theater
  • Off-consumption
    • Liquor Store
    • Grocer’s Wine
  • Micro Manufacture
  • Special Events Permit


1. First we take a look at the premises.

The location with regards to application compliance

The first application compliance condition evaluated is with regards to the proposed premises. The premises must not be located within a 500 meter radius from any learning institution or place of worship. Section 48(6)(a) of the liquor act. states that the liquor authorities must consider the potential prejudice or harm the proposed license will cause, if any, to other licensed premises. This applies for schools and religious institutions too. The premises depending on the type of license is applied for, can therefore still qualify as many other factors such as public interest is taken into account.

The second condition is when the proposed license location is situated in a residential area. Here the proposed premises, may not be located within a radius closer than 500 meters of any other licensed premises.

The facilities with regards to application compliance

Many application compliance conditions exist, with regards to facilities. In a situation where the proposed premises is in the process of being built, on completion of the building, the premises must be suitable for the use by the applicant for the intended purpose of the license.

With the application for any on-consumption license, the proposed premises must have sufficient toilet facilities. Furthermore in the case of a restaurant license, the premises must be fitted with a fully functional kitchen.

In all cases where an application for a new license is lodged, parking bays for cars are taken into consideration. Enough parking bays to accommodate the amount of cars, that the proposed outlet will be drawing, must be available.

In the case of an on-consumption license for accommodation premises, the premises must be fitted with sleeping facilities, bedrooms. In this case toilets and kitchen must also be present.

In any case when selling alcohol, a lock-up store room, is a prerequisite for getting a liquor license and must be in place.

With regards to furnishing and equipment, the premises must be furnished and equipped as for the purpose it will be used for. This means that the kitchen must be within regulations and contain the equipment to make the products on the menu. The restaurant floor must be fully furnished with tables and chairs. Same goes for the bar area.

Entertainment places such as playhouses, cinemas and theaters must apply for a theater license. This license type allows for consumption of alcohol in a designated area. Furthermore, the trading hours are restricted to those of the entertainment place.

All new applications must be in public interest. What this means, is that by the granting of a new license, the new outlet must have a positive effect in the local community. One such advantage is work creation.

The business License with regards to application compliance

A current business license is a definite license application compliance condition. By having a business license the liquor authority knows that the premises passed inspection by the local town counsel. The municipality make sure that the business is safe, and comply to all by-laws. A business with a business license is deemed safe and hygienic .

Furthermore, presenting a business license serves as permission to trade, given by the local authorities. A business license situated in a commercially zoned area is much easier to get. In order to get a business license in a residential area, may vary in difficulty depending on the district. Each district have it’s own by-laws. In some instances, obtaining a business license can be time consuming and very costly.

The only exception that does not stipulate a business license as compulsory for application, is when applying for a special events permit.

The right to occupy with regards to application compliance

Next, we look at, the right to occupy a premises with regards to a license application compliance condition. The proposed license holder must have the right to occupy the premises. The right to occupy a premises is achieved in two ways: by being the rightful owner of the property or by having a lease agreement in place. In the situation where the applicant is leasing the premises, the applicant must furthermore obtain a landlord’s consent letter.

The landlord’s consent must be reduced to writing. Secondly the landlord’s consent need to stipulate that permission to trade in alcohol related products, is granted. Another condition of the landlord’s consent, is to specify what type of license, the tenant may apply to the premises. When lodging a liquor license application, the landlord’s consent must accompany the lease agreement.

The security plan with regards to application compliance

The inclusion of a functional security plan, is one of the more recent additions to application compliance conditions. The submitted security plan must give the following details:

How and when the access points will be manned plays an important role, as this is in most cases the first contact with patrons. In some cases it is required to search patrons upon entry to the premises. Searching patrons are to be conducted in a organized manner, in order to alienate the patrons rights.

In the situation where customers may not carry firearms into the premises, like in clubs, the security plan must comply with the national firearm regulations. Some of the conditions will include a safe keeping area, which applies signing in and out of firearms and weapon safe making area and facilities.

CCTV is a popular security measure, as with recording systems, you can go back in time to review, not only security issues but stock shortages and cash related issues as well. Including CCTV cameras and DVR units in your security plan plays a key role.

Another security plan compliance condition state that the licensed person and premises is responsible for security in a further five (5) meter perimeter, around the premises. As part of your application, you need to give the details on how you will be ensuring the safety of patrons, public and employees in this area.

Any other security precautions related to the premises, cash handling, cash registers, parking areas etc. must be discussed in detail in your submitted security plan.

The floor plan with regards to application compliance

A key part of the application compliance conditions, is the inclusion of a detailed floor plan. The floor plan plays a crucial role in the application process. The liquor authorities makes extensive use of the floor plan while considering the new license application. This mean that the floor plan submitted must clearly show the following information:

  • All the dimensions of the proposed premises.
  • Clearly indicate all entrances and exits.
  • The location of a partitioned point of sale, desk/counter, including dimensions.
  • The reserved area designated for liquor consumption, in case of a on-consumption license.
  • All details related to ablution facilities, ladies and gents toilets.
  • Location of the lock-up storeroom.
  • The location of the kitchen in the case of a restaurant license.
  • The size and location of all windows.
  • The placement of all fridges and furniture.

Location description of the premises with regards to application compliance

Another crucial application compliance condition is a detailed description of the premises. To comply, the detailed description of the premises must include the following:

As the floor plan discussed above, gives the exact details inside the property must a detailed location description of the premises, contain exact location details. This means that the municipal ERF number must be displayed. If the proposed outlet is situated in a mall, complex or small center, then the shop number must be indicated clearly.

When the proposed business is located in a rural area with no address, the description must provide an explanation on how to reach/find the premises. This must include identifiable landmarks to assist any person to find the premises.

2. The proposed license holder, with regards to the application compliance conditions.

Personal application compliance conditions

With regards to personal compliances, we start by furnishing your application with all required identity documents. During the application process, your identity documents are used for checks and various clearances.

SARS tax clearance certificate. A tax clearance tells the liquor authority that the applicant does not owe SARS any monies. Tax clearances are issued in both personal capacity as a natural person. And  to a legal entity like a CC, PTY (LTD) or a Trust. In both the above mentioned instances, a valid and current tax clearance certificate, must accompany the application.

A valid tax clearance certificate is not older than 12 months, at time of lodging the application. When applying for a special events permit, no tax clearance certificate is required.

SAPS (South African Police Service) clearance certificate. The purpose of a SAPS clearance is to tell the liquor authorities that the applicant is free from any legal implications. This clearance certificate refers to a natural person. Usually the name of the person, appears on the liquor license application.

A current police clearance certificate must not be older than three (3) months, at time of lodging the liquor license application. A police clearance certificate is not necessary when applying for a special event permit.

The applicant’s Curriculum Vitae. The applicant’s CV plays a key part in the application process. It is vital that the CV proves the applicant’s ability, to manage and maintain the proposed liquor outlet.

The final personal application compliance condition: Disqualification. The disqualification of an applicant is clearly stated in The Liquor Act. section 40 (1) & (2). Here is a list of conditions that leads to disqualification:

In the case where the applicant,

  • is a minor on the date of lodging.
  • is committed in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 18 of 1973).
  • is committed in terms of the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 (Act No. 17 of 2002).
  • is an un-rehabilitated insolvent.
  • has been sentenced for any offense to imprisonment, without the option of a fine in the preceding 10 years. If in the opinion of the Liquor Authority the nature of the offense does not render the applicant unsuitable, the applicant will not be disqualified.
  • has been convicted of contravention of the Liquor Licensing Act, 2010 (Act No. 6 of 2010 ), first offense will disqualify applicant for 1 year. A second offense will disqualify the applicant for a period of 2 years and a 3rd offense for a period of 3 years from the date of sentence.
  • has for a period of 3 years preceding the lodgment of application, had his or her license or permit canceled in terms of the Liquor Licensing Act, 2010 (Act No. 6 of 2010 ).
  • no business entity will qualify, if one of the partners in a partnership, or a business entity is disqualified.

3. General application compliance conditions

Public interest: The applicant has to show that the granting of the license applied for is in public interest.

Social responsibility plan: Measures to establish a social responsibility program that will be instituted by the applicant must be included in the application. Not necessary when applying for a special events permit.

Proof of payment of lodging fees: After obtaining a reference number from the Liquor Authorities, payment of the lodging fee must be made and proof of such payment attached to the application.

BEE rating: In the case where a legal business entity is the applicant a Black Economic Empowerment rating certificate must also be included in the application.

Employment opportunities: Total number of new employment opportunities in terms of the proposed license need to be addressed.

Power of Attorney: If the application is completed by anyone other than the applicant, details of such person must be completed on the application. A power of Attorney must be signed by the applicant allowing this person to act on his or her behalf.

Consent: Besides the landlord’s consent which was covered earlier the applicant in the case of a company also needs to include a proxy giving permission for the application. Municipal and/or the owner of premise as well as event organizers written consent is required in case of applying for a special event permit. In this case a situational report from the station commissioner at the local South African Police Service must accompany the application.


  1. When application for a special events permit is lodged for an event in a residential area it must be advertised in at least one newspaper circulating widely in the area.
  2. A notice must be displayed in a prominent place one meter by one meter in size. This must be visible to passers by.
  3. Serve a notice of the application in the prescribed manner on a member over the age of 16 years to every household in a radius of 100 meters.
  4. Simultaneously with publication of the application in the newspaper a copy of the application must be lodged as the offices of the station commissioner at the local South African Police Service.

Proof of the completion, of above points (1) to (4) must be submitted with the application.This must be lodged at least 14 working days before the event. And can be lodged any day of the week at the Liquor Authorities offices in Durban.

Advertising for any other license is only at a later stage.

Conclusion of application compliance

We at Liquoract .com scrutinize every application we handle. We only start compiling an application, once we are satisfied that the license application comply. We are proud to say that we have a 100% success rate. We  take utmost care to not spoil that.

23 thoughts on “Support With Liquor License Application Compliance”

  1. Wil net weet hoe werk n lisensie vir n gastehuis.
    Die lisensie is slegs vir gaste wat op die perseel verblyf bespreek het maw inwoon?
    En koste? Ons het slegs 6 kamers op die perseeel

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