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How to apply for Liquor License

If you want to sell or manufacture liquor in the South Africa, you must have a valid liquor licence.

There are 4 different types of liquor licences you can apply for. Before you start your application process, study the application form in detail to ensure that you submit the correct documentation.

  1. Micro-manufacturing for on and off consumption – a licence for the micro-manufacture and sale of liquor for consumption both on and off the premises where the liquor is sold.
  2. Consumption on – a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises where liquor is sold.
  3. Consumption off – a licence for the sale of liquor for consumption off the premises where liquor is sold.
  4. Consumption on and off – in exceptional circumstances, a licence is given for the sale of liquor consumed both on and off the premises.

1. SAPS Clearance.
You need a SAPS clearance certificate confirming that you do not have a criminal record. This step can take up to six weeks, so start with this before you do the rest.

Take a copy of your I. D. document and R59.00 to your local SAPS during office hours.
Ask them to do your fingerprints for the purpose of an application for a Liquor License.
Once you have your fingerprints taken, hand the fingerprints together with your receipt of R59.00 and a copy of your I. D. document to:

The Criminal Records Centre, First floor, Bothong Plaza West Building, 271 Francis Baard Street, (Previously Schoeman Street) Pretoria and deliver the original Police clearance Certificate to our office or you can send us the original finger prints, copy of the receipt of R 59.00 per set of finger prints and a copy of the Identity Document/s and we will deliver it to Pretoria and arrange for collection at an additional cost of R 800.
2. Premises.

You need a premises before you can even apply for a Liquor License. The public area must not be less than 50m2. The ideal is that your premises is +500m or more from a church, school or similar business. However this is not always possible. Do not start spending money on renovating the existing building or start building a new building or sign a lease contract on the building before you have cleared the following:

Visit your local Municipality’s Town Planning or Land Use department and confirm with them that the premises or stand that you want to use are suitable for a Liquor Store. (You need the ERF number of your premises)
Request a Zoning certificate from the Municipality on the stand that you intend to use. Your Liquor License Consultant must be convinced that the zoning is correct. In Gauteng you need a Local Authority Approval (A letter confirming you may apply) for a Liquor Store in addition to the zoning certificate.
Negotiate a Lease Contract. If you are not the owner of the property then you require a lease contract between you and the landlord. Be careful when signing the lease contract. Read the conditions very careful, especially with regards to the following”
Escalation clause. This means the amount the rent will increase after every year. An annual escalation of up to 8% is acceptable in today’s economy. (Do not accept a 12% escalation clause for this is too high in today’s terms 2014.)
Right to renew. The renewal clause gives you the right to renew the lease contract after the expiry of the lease. There should be a % increase or a rand figure of the first year’s renewal increase in rent with an escalation clause for every year thereafter until the end of the renewed contract. The applicant is welcome to contact the writer for more information. (Do not accept a clause stating “The lessee has the right to renew the lease contract, without a clear stipulation of the cost of the lease after renewal.)

Note: The monthly payments stipulated on the lease contract can be inflated by the lessor’s on-costs such as administration cost, security cost, cleaning cost, rates and taxes etc. Establish first what extra cost will be charged before you mak a dicision. A guideline on the influence of rent on the profitability of a Liquor store is that if the rent is in the region 10% or more of a liquor store’s turnover, you are paying too much rent which will inflate your overheads out of proportion. Keep your overheads as low as you can. If you do not achieve at least 11% net profit, then your overheads are too high. Back to top
3. SARS clearance.

Apply for your Tax clearance certificate at SARS. If the applicant is a juristic person such as a Company, the Tax Clearance must be in the name of the company otherwise the tax clearance certificate must be in the name of the applicant/s.
4. Liquor License.

Contact a reputable Liquor License Consultant to give you a quote clearly confirming all cost. Investigate the Liquor License consultant and ask for references. Make sure you know what is included and what is excluded in the quotation. Apply as soon as possible because a Liquor License Application can take a long time. (4-6 months or longer) You can apply on an existing premises or on a stand on which there is no building yet.

Your Liquor License Consultant will give you a list of requirements for a Liquor License Application.
Don’t attempt to do a DIY job on your Liquor License application unless you are fully familiar with all aspects of the Liquor Act. Section 23(3) of the Gauteng Liquor act reads: “Where an application for a license has been refused by the Board, no new application may be made in respect of the same premises within a period of one (one) year from date of refusal,……..” If it takes six months before you receive a refusal from the board it means that you have wasted 18 months before you can apply again and then you might wait another 6 months before your application can be approved. That could mean 24 months which you might pay rent on an empty sho

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