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Opening a restaurant of your own can require quite a bit of planning, organization, and of course – the constant, dreaded decision-making. What kind of restaurant do I want?  QSR, fast casual, fine dining? What are the best flooring options to use? Moreover, which city should I chose? Toronto, Oakville? Additionally, what kind of food will I serve? Fast food, ethnic, pub style? And let’s not forget choosing the right name for your establishment. Decision after decision, it might be nice to end the night with a nice, celebratory glass of… liquor license! (Finally, a decision with only one possible option)

Unlike the roaring 20s, alcoholic beverages are far from banned in the province of Ontario and if you plan on serving or selling any of the good stuff you will need to get in contact with the Alcohol and Gaming Commissions of Ontario (AGCO) for licencing.

Acquiring your liquor license

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) that accounts for most of Ontario’s alcohol laws. Basically, these guys are your ticket to golden tequila shots.

To begin your licencing application, you will need to visit the licensing section of the AGCO’s website ( in order to retrieve the application forms and list of supporting requirements.

Your Liquor Sales Licence Application will be a 15-page package with a checklist and full detailed instructions. This application includes application fee details, business breakdown, floor plans and other possible requirements. You are free to either fill out this application directly online or print it off to fill out by hand. Once completed, be sure to send the original signed documentation directly to:

Alcohol and Gaming Commission
Licensing & Registration
200-90 Sheppard Avenue East
Toronto Ontario
M2N 0A4

Once received, the processing period should take roughly 10-12 weeks shortly followed by a sea of happy customers with glasses full of joy.

Cheers to you and your new liquor license!

If you want to take the next step in learning about opening a bar of your own, check out our article Cost of Building a Commercial Bar.

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If you are looking to build or renovate your restaurant, reach out to our Mississauga Build It By Design team at (905) 696-0486 or [email protected]