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Service Nova Scotia - Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division

Liquor Licence: Eating Establishment
Who Needs This Licence?
All restaurants in Nova Scotia which want to provide beer, wine and other liquors to accompany meals.
Issuing Department / Agency:
  Service Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division
Where can you get this Licence and / or further information?
Phone: 902-424-6160 [Dartmouth Office]
902-563-3495 [Sydney Office]
1-877-565-0556 (toll-free in Nova Scotia)
Note:  If you call after normal business hours, your call will be returned the next day.
Office Locations:

Dartmouth location:
780 Windmill Road
2nd Floor
Dartmouth, NS
Fax: 902-424-4942

Sydney location:
1030 Upper Prince Street
Sydney, NS
Fax: 902-563-3430

Hours: (Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm)
E-mail: Licensing & Registration:
Investigation & Enforcement:
Write: Licensing Section
Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division
P.O. Box 545
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 3Y8
Application Forms & Process:
To get an application form:
1)  Download:  Application for Permanent Liquor License
Please note:  These forms are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which requires the FREE Adobe® Acrobat® Reader. If you do not have the Reader, you can download the program FREE of charge.
2)  Or phone, visit, write or e-mail one of the contact sources listed above.  The appropriate application form will be supplied by mail, or may be picked up by the applicant.

An applicant can request an eating establishment liquor licence application by phone, fax, mail or visiting the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division office. The appropriate application kit will be supplied by mail or may be picked up by the applicant. All requested documents must be submitted and the applicant would appear before the Utilities and Review Board at a scheduled hearing. A written decision of the Board will follow.
Waiting Period:

Initial application: 30 business days

Renewal: 10 business days

Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received

Expiry & Renewal:
This licence is valid for 3 years. The renewal process is started by the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division, which will send a renewal form to the licence holder before the licence expires.
Price:  (No tax is charged)
Initial Application: $311.45

Renewal: $560.70 (3 year term mandatory)
Related Requirements:

1) Zoning Clearance - Municipality

2) Food Establishment Permit, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.

3) Fire Clearance, Office of the Fire Marshal

4) Business Registration: Corporations or Business Registration: Limited Partnerships, Service Nova Scotia: Registry of Joint Stock Companies

Additional Information:
Proposed food menu must be submitted for approval, along with deed or lease agreement for the application location.

With this licence, it is necessary for a customer to purchase a meal in order to buy beer, wine or any other liquor.

Special permits from the N.S. Liquor Corporation:  Beverage alcohol, besides being purchased to be consumed socially, is also used for medicinal and health purposes, for flavouring or condiments in food preparations, and for specially designated religious ceremonies.  All of these activities require a permit from the N.S. Liquor Corporation.  These special permits cover: Physicians, Nursing Homes, Food Industry and Food Manufacturers, Pharmacists, Mechanical & Scientific uses, Dentists, Hospitals and Sacramental Wine.

In addition, liquor suppliers and manufacturers operating in Nova Scotia must be registered with the Corporation.  These include private Retail outlets, manufacturing sites, warehousing sites, and special operations, such as: Hospitality rooms, Brew pubs, Farm Winery outlets,  Special Event liquor tastings, etc.  For more information, click here.
Legislative Authority:
Liquor Control Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Section 47 (1)

Liquor Licensing Regulations, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989,Section 5

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