How to get a Liquor License. Often one sees first-time licensees tackle the liquor license application process on their own. In many cases, this ends up with a disappointing outcome. Most of the time the reason being that liquor license application, does not consist of a simple application form. Each application provides highly detailed information with regard to unique circumstances. These conditions always vary from outlet to outlet.

It comes highly recommended that your license application process is handled by a liquor license consultant like liquoract.com

It comes highly recommended that your license application process is handled by a liquor license consultant like liquoract.com

Frequently Asked Questions.

The liquor act applies differently to businesses in the various provinces. This means that certain prerequisites and conditions for approval drastically vary from province to province. That alone is enough to raise some questions. Below we deal with the most asked questions. Liquoract.com provide services for new applications, renewals, transfers and special permits in Kwa-Zulu Natal. With that said, let’s take a look at those questions.

1. Time

Frequently Asked Question:

How long does the application process take to be completed?

The application process consists of two parts, the first we call the compiling stage and secondly the lodging. During the compiling stage, we typically start by arranging a meeting and collecting as much as possible information, with regards to the proposed license.

Compiling Stage

During this time we get all the required documentation in place, this includes photos of the premises, consent from the landlord, business license etc. Preparing the application often varies in time, due to the bylaws and processes in place by the respective municipality.

On average the compilation stage is often completed within 4 weeks(one month). The first section of the application process is the part where Liquoract.com do the preparation for a successful application.

Lodging Stage

The lodging stage starts on the day we Lodge or Hand-in the application. Various conditions apply to the lodging time and date. In other words, we may in some cases have to wait an additional week or two before we can lodge the application.

Once we lodge the application the due process starts. This can take up to seven (7) months, but not faster than five (5) months. This all depends on the correctness of the application efforts and the liquor board.

Another delay can arise from objections submitted by the public. On average without any objections, you can work on five (5) to seven (7) months. 

2. Documents

Frequently Asked Question:

Which documents do I need to give Liquoract.com to lodge a liquor license application?

The basic conditions for attaining a liquor license involve a person and premises, each with their own unique requirements.

Property Requirements

The first property-related point to be taken into consideration will be the location. Once again, the location comes with its own requirements, first being the proximity to any Churches and/or other Religious institutions and the same applies to Schools and Educational institutions. These places may not be closer than 500 meters from the property in question.

However, there are some cases in which the application was approved, with the premises being closer than the specified 500 meters, all depending on circumstances.

The distance to another liquor outlet must also be considered. Please take note that in a residential area, the new applicant may not be closer than 500 meters to another existing, similar type of liquor license/outlet.

One may trade with a liquor license regardless of the ownership of the premises. Often the proposed property is not even built. That too will qualify by completing the application in the appropriate manner. The first challenge will be to clearly prove the Right To Operate on the premises. A lease agreement or title deed will be sufficient proof of your right to operate.

Other basic requirements include the Floor Plan of the premises and a current Business License. These documents are part of the application and must be attached to the application when we lodge it. In the case where the building is not erected or alterations are in process, the Business License will only be required at a later stage.

Personal Requirements

Personal Documents required to complete the license application is different for each case. There are some basic requirements that must be included with every application. Other required documents, not stated here, will be asked from our clients as we see a need for them. Some of the basic documents are:

  • SAPS Clearance
  • Tax clearance
  • Identity Documents
  • Business License
  • Lease agreement or Proof Of Ownership of premises
  • Landlords Consent
  • The consent of a Chief, where required.
  • In the case of a company applying for a liquor license, the company must supply a BEE Certificate and Resolutions, together with ID Documents and SAPS Clearances for all members of the company.

3. License Type

Frequently Asked Question:

What type of Liquor License do I need to apply for?

License Categories

Liquor license types are grouped into four categories:

On Consumption Liquor License

  • Accommodation Liquor License
  • Restaurant Liquor License
  • Nightclub Club
  • Gaming Premises
  • Sports Grounds
  • Pub
  • Tavern
  • Theater

Off Consumption Liquor License

  • Liquor Store
  • Grocer’s Wine

Micro Manufacture Liquor License
Special Events Liquor License

That concludes the three detailed Frequently Asked Questions. In the following part, we take a deeper look at the different categories and their respective basic requirements.

get a Liquor License

Category Details to get a Liquor License

The first license category we look at is on consumption types. These Liquor License Types have the most variation with regards to basic requirements. A common requirement for all consumption license types is toilet facilities for ladies and gents. The crucial difference between the on consumption liquor license types lies within the facilities you have available. The other differences reflect in trading hours and yearly renewal fees.

A. Accommodation liquor license

This type of license is granted to businesses where the main source of income is generated from customers paying to sleepover. These business types are commonly referred to as Bed & Breakfast, Hotel, Lodge and Motel, etc.

The Accommodation Liquor License Type cost R 2 400.00 per year to renew. Secondly, the trading hours are limited by law to, every day from 10h00 – 02h00.

Other Prerequisites for Accommodation Type Liquor Licenses are:

  • A kitchen
  • Rooms furnished for overnight stay
  • A Dining room or Lounge.

B. Restaurant Liquor License

In the case of a Restaurant Liquor License, the most important condition for a Restaurant type business to comply to, is that the main source of income must be from the sale of food.

The Restaurant Liquor License Type cost R 2 400.00 per year to renew. Secondly, the trading hours are limited by law to, every day from 10h00 – 02h00.

Other Prerequisites for Restaurant Type Liquor Licenses are:

  • A fully functional kitchen
  • A Food menu available at all operating times
  • Businesses with Restaurant Liquor License types are not allowed to play loud music.

C. Nightclub

Nightclubs run later than other outlets and therefore a nightclub license enjoys extended trading hours. Nightclubs may sell alcoholic beverages when granted a Nightclub Liquor License, until 04:00.

A nightclub is clearly different from the other liquor outlet types, as it is fitted with a stage for live music and one or two dance floors. Keep in mind that a Nightclub Liquor License will only be granted in a situation where the primary income is generated from entertainment.

The Nightclub Liquor License Type cost R 4 800.00 per year to renew. Secondly, the trading hours are limited by law to, every day from 10h00 – 04h00.

A Nightclub Liquor License does allow loud music. There are limits imposed by law, and directly by the local municipality. On average the Decibel Limit is set to around 95db. A nightclub’s music may never cause a disturbance to other nearby premises of any kind.

D. Pub

A Pub Liquor Licensed business is an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks. A pub offers a relaxed environment, fitted for social drinking and conversation. A pub license requires the business to generate an income primarily from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

The Pub Liquor License Type cost R 4 800.00 per year to renew. Secondly, the trading hours are limited by law to, every day from 10h00 – 02h00.

E. Tavern

A Tavern Liquor Licensed business, is a place that provides patrons with alcoholic beverages and food. In this case, the legal condition that allows approval of the liquor license requires the main source of income to arise from the sale of alcohol.

The Tavern Liquor License Type cost R 1 000.00 per year to renew. Secondly, the trading hours are limited by law to, every day from 10h00 – 24h00.

F. Bottle store (Off-Consumption)

A Bottle Store Liquor License type is defined as a shop that sells a big variety of alcoholic drinks. The products sold may not be consumed on the licensed premises and must leave the business sealed. This also applies to grocer’s wine licenses.

Bottle stores and grocers are, by law allowed the same trading hours. These are as follows:

  • Monday to Friday: 08h00 – 20h00
  • Saturday: 08h00 – 17h00
  • Sunday: 10h00 – 15h30

The yearly Bottle Store Liquor License renewal fee is R 4 800.00 and R 2 400.00 for a Grocer’s Wine License. A grocer’s wine license, allow the granted party to sell only wine from within a Grocer/Supermarket.

G. Special permit

You must have a Special Permit when hosting an event on any unlicensed premises.

Special Permit Applications must be lodged with Liquor Authorities at least fourteen (14) working days or three (3) weeks, before the event. Keep in consideration that it takes time to gather the required documents and compile the special permit application.

You must start working on compiling the application as soon as you have the dates set, not closer than five (5) weeks before the event date. This will ensure the timely lodging of the required documents and application forms. Read on to get the list of required documents, that you will need to host an event in a private venue.

In case of an event being hosted in a public venue, you will require additional documents. Some of these are:

  • Risk Categorization
  • Proof of commissioning a Registered Security Company to oversee the event.

Conclusion

That is quite a mouth full. As you can easily see, there are many types of licenses with even more conditions. We have been dealing with Liquor license Applications for more than six years, and have adequate experience in all the various scenarios that may arise from an application.

A lot… but not too bad if you select your requirements only. Being prepared is always a good policy. However, we are left with a final part of this article, that gives you the last information that will allow your application process to start.


get a Liquor License

Want to get started?

Are you ready to get started with your application? If you are happy with all the information we discussed above, and you are set to go, read the last section following.

First, you have to know if you need a Special Permit or start a New Process.

Special Permit

Documents to be supplied so we can start the application is

  • Address of premise
  • Power of Attorney
  • Consent letter from events department at Municipality 
  •  Certified copy of consent from event organizer
  •  Certified copy of the situational report from SAPS
  • Certified copy of Risk Categorization from SAPS in Pietrmaritzburg.
  •  Floor plan & Site plan
  •  Motivation – What is the event about, what does it entail and who will be performing
  •  Certified copy of ID
  •  Security plan  with written representation- Which security company and registration number if any

 We will do the following:

  • We complete the application
  • Write the motivation
  • Do security plan & description of premise
  • We attach all relevant document and print 3 copies
  • Commission and certify the application and bind it
  • Lodge the application with liquor authorities
  • Follow up on status of application
  • When approved pay the activation fee
  • Submit proof of payment
  • Obtain signed license certificate from board.

New Processes

New On or Off Consumption Applications or Transfer of existing License

Should you commission us to do the application for an on or off Consumption license we follow the following procedure.

  • We sign an agreement stating what we will do as well as what is included in the total price
  • You supply us with documents as stated under Personal requirements above
  • We complete the application
  • Write the motivation
  • Do security plan, social plan & description of premise
  • We attach all relevant document and print 4 copies
  • Commission and certify the application and bind it
  • Lodge the application with liquor authorities
  • Follow up on status of application
  • When approved pay the activation fee
  • Submit proof of payment
  • Obtain signed license certificate from board.

How to make contact and get a Liquor License.

We are happy that you have made it so far, getting started is as simple as clicking HERE and complete the message form. On this page, you will also find the rest of our contact details.

We are available every day on all the various platforms. Use what’s convenient for you, Facebook messenger, phone, email or whats-app. And if you are in the area, feel free to drop by our office. We are ready to help.

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2 Responses

  1. Dear Sir.
    I have a tenant that is running a tavern like operation. This has been in operation for 30 years.

    I have purchased this property with the knowledge that the business was ligit. But later found out that is not.
    So I would like to conform and make the business as a tevern license.

Client Responses

 by Sibusiso Mngomezulu on Liquoract.com
reliable service

Through the help and reliability of liquoract today I am the owner of a tarven, their service is more than exceptional thus I highly recommend and rank their service

 by Siyabonga Mpembe on Liquoract.com
Best, reliable service

I had no idea about applying for a liquor license but I wanted to open a tarven, Liquoract did everything for me and now I'm a proud owner of my own tarven.

 by Renier Sky on Liquoract.com
Awesome

Liquoract.com is on-top of my liquor license renewals since 2003 - Keep up the good work!

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