Home Page ->
Legal Articles -> Getting a liquor licence
Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
Want to know how to get a liquor licence legally? Scorpion Legal Protection explains what you need, the cost, types of licences and what factors the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) may consider in deciding whether or not to grant you one.
Each province has its own Liquor Board and its own rules, and you need to apply for a licence through them. There are a number of different liquor licences: temporary/special event licence; on-site consumption licence (like a restaurant, you must drink it on the premises); off-site consumption licence (like a liquor store, you buy it there but drink it elsewhere) or a combination of both.
You can apply in your personal capacity or on behalf of a company, however, additional documents will be required for a company applicant.
Applicants who will not be considered:
We’ve summarised the requirements below, but you can read the full document from the dti here.
These are the documents you will need to submit with your application:
A zoning certificate/Letter of permission from the tribal authority. The zoning certificate must have been issued within 12 months at the time of filing a new application.
A valid, certified copy of ID or passport of the applicant. The ID/passport must be certified in the three months prior to filing a new application.
A South African Police Services (SAPS) police clearance certificate/finger print clearance. These clearance documents must come from the SAPS, and not from any other agency, in order to be considered valid. The standard is that these documents must not be older than three months from the date of issue, but the National Liquor Authority (NLA) will consider police clearance/finger print clearance certificates issued within 12 months at the time of filing the application.
Juristic persons/entity registration documents. These are necessary if you are applying on behalf of a business/company and not in your personal capacity.
A valid tax clearance certificate. This must be a valid tax clearance, issued by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) within 12 months of the date of application. No expired tax certificate will be considered.
A BEE certificate. Must only be submitted if applicable. The NLA will only consider a BEE certificate from an agency or accountant accredited with SANAS, issued within 12 months at the time of the application.
Initial Application fee. Proof of payment must accompany your application. This fee is non-refundable.
A liquor licence can cost anywhere between R15 000 and R25 000. The cost of the application depends on what you predict your business’s annual turnover will be. You can view a table of costs from the dtic here.
You will also need to renew your licence every year. If your licence lapses and you haven’t renewed it on time, you will have to apply for a new licence all over again.
Beware of any people/agencies who guarantee you a liquor licence (no person/agency can guarantee that your application will be approved) or those who say they can get you a liquor licence for under R10 000. This is most likely a scam and you will find out later that the person took your money and never applied for the licence.
On average, it should take about 4 months to get a liquor licence as long as you have provided all the correct documents and filled all the forms in correctly, however, we have heard of people waiting longer than this.
You may also be interested in:
Can you be fired for being drunk at work?
Can I be forced to take an alcohol test?
New regulations on traditional beer
If you have a query, follow Scorpion Legal Protection on Facebook and ask your question during our next Live Q&A (every first Thursday of the month from 11:30- 13:30).
* This is only basic paralegal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 7 December 2021
If you prefer to leave us an online query, please complete the form below and we will call you back.
Please select an enquiry type
Membership card / policy update query
Income Tax query
Last will & testament
Please select a complaint type
Poor service/Rude staff