How To Apply For Liquor License

The processes involved in applying for liquor license in South Africa can be challenging, therefore it’s necessary to carefully follow each step to ensure your application is successful.

We have provided lots of details about liquor license in today’s post. More importantly, we have listed the required processes and steps on how to apply for liquor license in South Africa.

About Liquor

Liquor is an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented.

About Liquor Board In South Africa

The liquor licensing authority in South Africa is known as the National Liquor Authority (NLA), a division of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The National Liquor Authority is responsible for issuing and regulating liquor licenses in South Africa. Again, the NLA is responsible for enforcing compliances with the Liquor Act and other applicable legislation.

Types of liquor licenses in south Africa

It is necessary to meticulously consider the type of license you are applying for to ensure that you’re able to legally sell and serve alcohol in South Africa. 

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Different varieties of liquor licenses in South Africa exist and you choose based on the specific nature of your business and the activities you plan to carry out. Some of these licenses are:

On-premises License

The On-premises license gives you the permit to sell alcohol for consumption at your premises. For instance: restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.

Off-premises License

The Off-premises license gives you the permit to sell alcohol for consumption off your premises. For instance: shops, supermarkets, retail outlets, etc.

Special Events License

The Special Events License gives you the permit to sell alcohol at a specific event like wedding or other private function.

Manufacturing License

The Manufacturing License gives you the permit to manufacture alcohol, such as beer or spirits.

Wholesale License

The Wholesale License gives you the permit to sell alcohol to other businesses, such as restaurants or retail outlets.

Liquor Licence Requirements In South Africa 

You must meet a wide range of requirements in order to apply for liquor license in South. These requirements are highly dependent on the type of license you’re applying for. Regardless, here are the general requirements below:

  • Identification – a copy of your passport or ID card.
  • Address – a utility bill or other official document that gives your current address.
  • Certificate of incorporation – specifically for company owners, you will need to show a certificate of incorporation from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Floor plan of your premises – a detailed floor plan of your premises, including the location of any bars, seating areas, and other important features.
  • Zoning certificate – a zoning certificate from your local municipality.
  • Other important documents include: Trading business permit (if the applicant is a foreigner), a South African Police Services (SAPS) police clearance certificate, etc. 
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You can reach out to the National Liquor Authority for further enquires on applying for a liquor license or assistance with any other queries regarding the requirements for a specific liquor license you want to apply for in South Africa.

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How To Apply For Liquor License In South Africa

Determine The Type Of Liquor License You Need

As mentioned earlier, the various types of liquor license include Special Events License, Off-premises License, On-premises License, Manufacturing License And Wholesale License.

Obtain The Required Documents

These documents include: Zoning certificate, Proof Of Identification, Certificate of incorporation, Address, etc. 

Complete The Application Form

The application form can be obtained from a local liquor licensing office or the website ( of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The form will demand details about your business and the type of liquor license you are applying for.

Submit the application form and accompanying documents once you complete.

You will pay a fee at this stage. The application will be reviewed by authorities, and you will be given a feedback of the decision in writing. Once your application goes through, you’ll be issued with a liquor license.


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