The first question that most potential new business owners ask is:

I want to start my own liquor business. How do I go about it ?

As there are many factors to take into account it will therefore be wise to use a liquor license consultant to advice and assist you in how to go about applying for your license. Read about choosing a liquor consultant HERE.

However in this article I address on how to go about applying for your new liquor license.

First of all you have to decide what type of liquor business you want to open. You must decide between on-consumption or off-consumption. If you would like to open an off-consumption liquor business you have two choices  being a liquor store or grocers wine license. With on-consumption the variety of new liquor license types are bigger but the most licenses applied for are:

  • Tavern license.
  • Night club license.
  • Pub license.
  • Restaurant license.

Once you are sure which type of business you would like to have you need to have a suitable premise to trade from.

First check that both you and the premise qualify for the type of business you propose to open. See article on compliance HERE.

The documents required before lodging application.

A business license must be attached when your premises is complete. This you apply for and get from the local municipality in which area your proposed business will be operating.

Next you need to get a SAPS clearance to show you have no criminal record. In some instances previous convictions will not affect your application.

Tax clearance is the next document that needs to be attached to the application.

In case of you renting the premises you will have to attach a lease agreement. The landlord consent that allows you to trade alcohol, must be attached.

The new liquor license application must be completed with all the required attachments as prescribed by the act. The requirement was discussed in full in a previous article dealing with compliance. Also see article in post on procedure HERE.

Once the new liquor license application is lodged and checked by the liquor authorities, and if it comply returned for public participation. At this stage the application must be advertised and a copy of the application lodged with the local police offices to give general public the opportunity to raise an objection. Application will be available to he public, for a twenty one day period to allow for inspection.

Provided no objections were lodged you now sit back and wait for the compliance inspector to inspect the premise after which application goes to the local committee for their recommendation.

Once the new liquor license application reaches this point, it is time for the liquor authorities to prepare and consider the application. Once your application has been approved you will get a notice, with a reference number to pay for the activation fee.

Your new liquor license certificate must be printed, signed and in your possession before you can start trading.


Provided your application was completed in full with all required documents attached and you met with all the compliance issues, your new liquor license should be approved.


51 Responses

  1. Thank you for all the information on how to get a liquor license. My friend is really determined to try and open his own liquor business, but didn’t know how to get a license. That is good to know my friend will have to determine what kind of liquor business they want to open first before they apply.

  2. I appreciate you letting us know that a tax clearance document and a lease agreement will be needed for your liquor license application. The new bar I will be working at is in need of a liquor license, and they are wondering what they will be needing for the application. I will be sure to tell my boss that he should get documents like his tax clearance and lease agreement together.

  3. Thank you sir , hope you won’t mind cause i got a ton of questions regarding liquor licenses since i wana open a club , i will be whatsapping you .

  4. Hi Renier
    A shisanyama where drinks are also served falls under which license category and how do I go about applying? May I please contact you?
    Thank you

  5. Hi Sir
    I am Kwazi I want to know how to go about getting a license of operating a so called Shisanyama where people can also consume alcohol while enjoying their meals. Location style.

  6. Hi I want to start selling alchol from my township in Soweto however next to the premises there’s a car wash that I own, I want to exploit both capabilities of selling during midday ( liqour store) and during evening (tavern) would I need to apply for both licenses or what is your best advice?

  7. Thank you so much for the information.
    Ill like to know how to apply online for Tarven Licence.
    And how much it may cost.
    Thank you

  8. Thank you so much for the information.
    Ill like to know how to apply online for Bottle store
    And how much it may cost.
    Thank you

  9. Hi Sir please can you assist with Tavern liquor license. I’m very concerned and I have already have the structure the only thing I need is the l it is to get licence…

    Thank you in advance.

  10. Morning sir
    Please assist,we want to start a bottle store business,it is intended to be built in a traditional authority place(under induna)it’s not municipality place

  11. Hi Renier,

    I have a tenant who is a supermarket. They require consent from the landlord to apply for a new liquor licence. What process does the landlord follow in this regard.

Client Responses

 by Sibusiso Mngomezulu on
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
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
Awesome is on-top of my liquor license renewals since 2003 - Keep up the good work!

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