Need a new liquor license? The first question that most potential new business owners ask is:

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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.

New liquor license

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.

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