Liquor license in South Africa: forms, cost, application, renewal

Liquor license in South Africa: forms, cost, application, renewal

How do I get a liquor license in South Africa? Liquor licenses are applied for and granted in accordance with the provisions of each province's act. Requirements must be met before a license is issued and they are straightforward. This article provides an overview of what you should know when applying for a liquor license to speed up the process.

Liquor license
Liquor license in South Africa and more useful advice. Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

There are a few mistakes that a lot of people make with regard to the applications of liquor licenses. Precisely, what is a liquor license? The correct papers are required by anyone who produces, sells, or distributes alcohol. The liquor control board must approve your application, and each province has its own board and rules.

Who can apply for a liquor license?

Anybody over the age of 18 can apply. Both businesses and close corporations can also apply. All other persons and entities may apply for a liquor license. The following individuals are not eligible to apply, and if they do, they will be rejected:

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  • Any person that has received a prison sentence without the option of paying a fine,
  • Any person that was declared insolvent but not yet rehabilitated,
  • A company, close corporation, or co-operative in which either of the persons mentioned above has a shareholding or member’s interest.

You can apply if you rent a property. You may, however, require permission from the property owner, as well as proof that you have the legal right to occupy the premises (lease agreement). You can submit the application to the regional office or local committee of the specific area or zone.

Liquor license forms

Liquor license search
All you need to know about liquor licenses in South Africa. Photo: Adam Wilson (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Liquor license application forms for various provinces throughout Africa are available online here. The liquor license requirements are certified copies of IDs, business registration forms, proof of address, and premises layout approved by the municipality. You will also need a tax clearance certificate and a BEE certificate, if applicable. The liquor license online forms and requirements are outlined for your convenience. Liquor license form downloads and liquor store applications are also available from this link.

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Liquor license cost

How much is a liquor license in SA? On average, it takes about four months to obtain it if applied for correctly. As with anything else, watch out for the people who say that they can do the process for under R10,000. This is impossible. Rather pay more and do it right. The cost is between R15,000 and R25,000.

Liquor license renewal fees

Licenses must be renewed each year, and if the renewal is not paid on time, it will lapse. You will then have to apply for a new license all over again, so make sure that you are aware of the date it expires. Your renewal fee depends on your province, zone, dates, and other factors.

Liquor license
A liquor license is required in order to sell alcohol. Photo: Javier Balseiro, Stella da Smit (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The information provided in our article will make the entire process much easier for you. So, what must you do to ensure your application is successful? Here are a few pointers:

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1. The premises must comply with the type of license that is applied for

There are various types of liquor licenses, each with its own set of conditions for the location where it is applied for. As a result, you must be aware of the criteria for the different types and ensure that your establishment meets them.

2. The zoning of the premises must be correct

You need to know what types of zoning are applicable and the benefits and requirements of each. Ensure that the premises meet those specifications. If you have the papers but the wrong zoning, you will not be allowed to sell.

3. You may apply before the premises are finished

You do not have to wait for the improvements to be completed before applying. The board has no trouble issuing temporary licenses until the premises are done, so you do not have to wait.

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4. If the premises are expanded or changed after the papers were granted

You will also have to apply to the board to expand the license and note any changes you have made to the property.

5. The person who applies must not have an alcohol-related criminal record

In terms of the liquor act, persons with criminal records may apply. However, people with alcohol-related criminal records may not apply.

6. Objections that were lodged after the application can be addressed

Once an application is lodged, objections will be invited from your area, and a police report from the liquor officer is delivered. Do not think that these objections are the end of the world. They can be successfully dealt with, and your application can still be approved.

Liquor license
Once all the paperwork is done and approved, you can sell and start enjoying the profits. Photo: Fábio Alves from (modified by author)
Source: UGC

If you respond to the objections, but the board still believes they are serious, they will request evidence. They will hold a hearing at which liquor license consultants will represent you and all the other witnesses. On the day of the hearing, they will discuss the issue in person.

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7. Renewal periods

Remember to renew your license once a year. If you do not renew in time, it will lapse, and once it has expired, you will have to apply for a new one. You do not want to be in a situation where you cannot sell alcohol because it takes four to five months to get a new one.

8. Applications are posted in the Government Gazette on the first Friday of each month

Ensure that your application's timing is good; otherwise, you may have to wait until the next month. Time is of the essence, and the more time you lose, the more money you lose.

9. The licenses are not owned by individuals

How to transfer a liquor license in South Africa? The papers are issued to the venue rather than the person. As a result, it cannot be transferred from one person to another for use at a location other than the one for which it was issued.

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Liquor license
Liquor license in South Africa for different establishments. Photo: Andrea Minnini, Rodan Can (modified by author)
Source: UGC

To summarize a few conditions, the applicant must be a South African citizen, have no criminal record, not be insolvent or a minor, and be in good standing with the receiver of revenue. The application may be submitted in the applicant's personal capacity or on behalf of a corporation. Each location and circumstance that necessitates a liquor license is distinctive.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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Source: Briefly News

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