Information guide for new on-site distillery retail store applicants

What is an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization?

An On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization allows a spirits manufacturer to operate a store for the retail sale of its spirits.

Things to know before applying

General Eligibility Criteria

Generally, in order to be eligible for an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization:

  • The applicant must be a distillery with a valid Manufacturer’s Licence issued by the Registrar.
  • The proposed on-site distillery retail store must be located on the same parcel of land as the applicant’s production site and the spirits to be sold in the on-site store must be made by the applicant at that production site.
  • The applicant must meet the criteria and requirements outlined in the AGCO’s Distillery Retail Store Information Guide, which has been developed to assist those wishing to apply for a new retail store authorization, or for approval to relocate an existing authorized retail store.

Please note that the application process also includes a site inspection of the constructed retail store by an AGCO Compliance Official to confirm that all eligibility criteria and requirements have been met.

How to apply

You can apply for an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization online through the iAGCO portal.

Supporting documents

What supporting documents/information are needed for an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization application?

When applying for an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization online, you will be asked to provide the following as part of your application. These items can be provided to the AGCO at any time during the application process:

  1. completed original Municipal Information for a Retail Store Authorization form.
  2. site plan detailing the production site and the proposed retail store location.
  3. floor plan of the proposed retail store including square footage.
  4. if ownership and control of the production site is shared with any other licensed manufacturer - supplementary documentation demonstrating substantial ownership and control of the production site
  5. a copy of each notification letter (if applicable) sent to any place of religious assembly, schools, public parks and playgrounds, community centers and/or libraries located within one (1) kilometre of your proposed store location. 
    NOTE: As part of the application for an On-Site Retail Store Authorization, you must provide written notification to the above noted institutions of your proposed retail store is located within one (1) kilometre of any such establishment. A copy of each notification letter sent must also be submitted to the AGCO. The notification letter must instruct the reader to notify the AGCO in writing of any objections they may have to your proposed store within fifteen (15) days of the date of your notification letter;
  6.  agreement with the LCBO respecting the sale of spirits through an on-site retail store.

​Fees and Payment

  • Please refer to the AGCO’s Application Fee Schedule for the applicable fee.
  • When using online services, payments must be made by Visa, MasterCard, Interac Online, Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
  • Payments of $30,000 or more must be made by money wire transfer or electronic funds transfer. Please note that cheques and cash are not accepted as forms of payment when using iAGCO online services. For more information please contact AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876.
  • All application fees must be received by the AGCO before an application will be processed.
  • All fees are non-refundable.

Renewing your retail store authorization

Retail Store Authorizations are valid for a period of either two or four years and expire when the associated Manufacturer’s Licence expires or is terminated. As a courtesy, Manufacturers Licence holders will be sent a renewal notice approximately 60 days prior to the expiry date shown on the licence. However it remains the licensee’s responsibility to ensure the licence is renewed on time.

To ensure your Retail Store Authorization and Manufacturer’s Licence remain valid, please see the section on “Renewing a Manufacturer’s Licence” for instructions on completing the renewal application.

Fees and Payment

  • Please refer to the AGCO’s Application Fee Schedule for the applicable fee.
  • When using online services, payments must be made by Visa, MasterCard, Interac Online, Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
  • Payments of $30,000 or more must be made by money wire transfer or electronic funds transfer. Please note that cheques and cash are not accepted as forms of payment when using iAGCO online services. For more information please contact AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876.
  • All application fees must be received by the AGCO before an application will be processed.
  • All fees are non-refundable.

Relocating your on-site distillery retail store

An on-site distillery retail store cannot be relocated without prior authorization from the Registrar. In addition, an on-site store cannot be relocated to an off-site location. It must be located at a production site of the holder of the on-site store authorization.

For information on the criteria and requirements for the relocation of an on-site distillery retail store, please see the AGCO Distillery Retail Store Information Guide.

Things to know before applying

Once the relocation has been authorized by the Registrar, the store being relocated must be open and operational in the new location within six months from the date of the closure of the store in its original location.

The applicant must meet the criteria and requirements outlined in the AGCO Distillery Retail Store Information Guide.

Please note that the application process also includes a site inspection of the constructed retail store by an AGCO Compliance Official to confirm that all eligibility criteria and requirements have been met.

How to apply

You can apply to relocate an existing on-site distillery retail store online, through the iAGCO portal.

Supporting documents

What supporting documents/information are needed for the relocation of an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization?

When applying online to relocate an On-Site Distillery Retail Store Authorization, you will be asked to provide the following as part of your application. These items can be provided to the AGCO at any time during the application process:

  1. completed original Municipal Information for a Retail Store Authorization form.
  2. floor plan of the proposed retail store including square footage.
  3. a copy of each notification letter (if applicable) If the proposed retail store site is located within close proximity to any churches, schools, playgrounds, community centres, parks or libraries, you must notify each institution of the proposed retail store and ask that they provide any written objections to you and the AGCO within fifteen (15) days of receiving the notification. A copy of each “Notification Letter” you send must be submitted with this application.

Fees and Payment

There is currently no fee to relocate an on-site distillery retail store.

 

Eligible spirit sales at farmers’ markets

What is an Authorization to Sell Eligible Spirits at a Farmers’ Market?

An Authorization to Sell Eligible Spirits at a Farmers’ Market allows eligible licensed distilleries to sell their eligible spirits as set out in Regulation 720 under the Liquor Licence Act at an occasional extension of their on-site distillery retail store within a farmers’ market.

Spirits are eligible to be sold at a farmers’ market if at least 50 per cent of the volume of spirits in the container holding them is made, from start to finish, at a production site in Ontario.

Things to know before applying

General Eligibility Criteria

Distilleries that wish to participate in the program must:

  • have a valid AGCO Manufacturer’s Licence
  • operate an AGCO authorized on-site distillery retail store
  • produce eligible spirits as defined in Regulation 710 under the Liquor Licence Act.

How to apply

You can apply for an Authorization to Sell Eligible Spirits at a Farmers’ Market online, through the iAGCO portal.

Fees and Payment

There is currently no fee to apply for an Authorization to Sell Eligible Spirits at a Farmers’ Market.

Notification to AGCO of planned sales at Farmers’ Markets

Manufacturers with an Authorization to Sell Eligible Spirits at a Farmers’ Market must provide the AGCO with at least 10 days’ notice of planned sales at Farmers’ Markets (i.e. days of sale that have been confirmed with a Farmers’ Market). If the intended days of sale are cancelled or changed, please notify the AGCO at the earliest possible opportunity.

Notification to the AGCO of your planned sales at Farmers’ Markets can be submitted through the iAGCO portal.

The AGCO will notify you if any municipal objections have been received regarding any of the Farmers’ Markets where you intend to sell your eligible spirits.

 

Delivery from a Distillery Retail Store

An on-site distillery retail store may deliver products that are eligible to be sold in their on-site retail store to the public, subject to the following requirements:

  1. Liquor is delivered only to a residence or private place as defined in the Liquor Licence Act;
  2. The person who handles liquor has successfully completed a Board approved training program.
  3. Delivery is completed only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.;
  4. Liquor is delivered to a person at the address provided with the order who is at least 19 years of age and does not appear to be intoxicated;
  5. The person making a delivery of liquor inspects an item of identification before delivering liquor to a person who appears to be under 19 years of age;
  6. A fee may be charged for delivery;
  7. An order placed with a winery or a manufacturer of beer or spirits must include the following information:
    1. The name and address of the customer.
    2. The date on which the liquor is purchased, and the date on which it is to be delivered.
    3. The kinds and quantities of liquor to be delivered.
    4. The address where the liquor is to be delivered.
  8. For one year from the date of delivery of liquor, a winery or a manufacturer of beer or spirits shall retain at its place of business, every record of an order required by paragraph 7.

A benefit is allowed under agreements between an authorized manufacturer of liquor and a liquor delivery licensee, if the benefit is intended to facilitate or promote the purchase of liquor from the store, or the delivery of liquor.

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