Endorsements are additions to a Liquor Sales Licence. Endorsements allow liquor sales licensees to sell and serve alcohol under specific conditions. Each type of endorsement is subject to specific regulations and conditions.
An application may be made at any time and for more than one endorsement but endorsements are only valid when combined with an active Liquor Sales Licence.
Endorsements are renewed at the same time as the premises’ associated Liquor Sales Licence.
Note that licensing fees are applicable to Golf Course Endorsements only.
All alcohol-related transactions with the AGCO can now be completed online through the iAGCO web-based portal.
The services being offered online will also continue to be offered through the traditional, paper-based transactions for a transition period of approximately one year. At the end of the transition period, all transactions will be offered online only. Please note that processing times may be longer if an application is submitted by paper.
New licence term options are now available when applying for and renewing licences or authorizations. Licensees are now able to select a two or four year term duration, with fees payable to match the length of the term. For a description of the new fee structure, please visit the Alcohol Licensing Fees page.
Types of Endorsements
The AGCO issues seven (7) types of endorsements which allow liquor sales licensees to sell and serve alcohol under specific conditions:
Brew Pub Endorsement:
A Brew Pub Endorsement permits the sale and service of beer manufactured by the licensee on the licensed premises, for consumption on the licensed premises.
Wine Pub Endorsement:
A Wine Pub Endorsement permits the sale and service of wine manufactured by the licensee on the licensed premises, for consumption on the licensed premises.
Mini Bar Endorsement:
A mini bar Endorsement permits the sale of alcohol from a mini bar dispenser in a room rented by guests in a hotel or motel which has licensed premises.
* Note that the AGCO also issues mini bar licences to businesses that do not have a Liquor Sales Licence. Like an endorsement, a mini bar licence allows the sale and service of alcohol in a room that is rented for overnight accommodation such as a hotel or motel. To apply, applicants should submit a completed “Liquor Sales Licence Application” with the appropriate alcohol licensing fee to the AGCO.
Room Service Endorsement:
A Room Service Endorsement permits the sale and service of alcohol to persons registered as guests in a facility that rents overnight accommodation such as a hotel or motel, provided the facility has a Liquor Sales Licence.
Golf Course Endorsement:
A Golf Course Endorsement permits the sale and service of alcohol to golfers for consumption on the playing area of the golf course. Alcoholic beverages may be served from mobile vending carts that must be operated by an employee who is 18 years of age or over. Non-alcoholic beverages must also be available. Please see Licensed Areas on Golf Courses for further information.
A Catering Endorsement permits the sale and service of alcohol at an event that is held in an unlicensed area.
The catered event must be sponsored by someone other than the licence holder, and cannot be more than ten (10) days in duration.
A catering endorsement may not be used at a location if:
- the location’s liquor sales licence is currently under suspension,
- a liquor sales licence for that location has been revoked or refused, or
- a business or individual cannot get a Special Occasion Permit for that location.
A licensee may provide a one-time notice to the AGCO of his/her intention to cater events in a specific area that is under their exclusive control (i.e., the licensee owns, rents or leases the area). However, under all other circumstances the licensee must notify the AGCO of each catered event by submitting a Catering Notification at least ten (10) days in advance of the event.
The licensee is also required to notify their local police, fire, building and health departments the details of each catered event at least ten (10) days in advance of the event. It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the location where the catered event is taking place complies with all the same requirements that apply to their licensed establishment (fire, health, building, etc.).
For each catered event, the licensee must also:
- Carry a copy of the Liquor Sales Licence when transporting liquor to and from the event, and post a copy of the licence and the Catering Notification at the event.
- Post a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (Sandy’s Law) warning sign at the event.
- Ensure light meals are available at the event.
- Allow only the licensee or its employees to sell and serve liquor at the event and ensure that all employees are trained in accordance with the regulations on server training.
- Only transport and sell and serve liquor that is purchased under the Liquor Sales Licence.
In addition, the licensee must NOT:
- Sponsor the event.
- Cater an event exceeding ten (10) consecutive days in length.
- Operate an ongoing business with a sponsor.
- Promote the event.
- Sell and serve liquor at an event held in a residence.
As long as it is not a residence, the specified location for the catered event shall be deemed to be a licensed premises during the time of the event and the licensee shall ensure compliance with the applicable sections of the Liquor Licence Act and its regulations.
Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) Endorsement:
A Bring Your Own Wine Endorsement authorizes the holder of a Liquor Sales Licence for a restaurant or a banquet room located in a hotel or motel to permit patrons to bring unopened bottles of commercially made wine into the restaurant or banquet room to which the licence applies, for their own consumption. A restaurant employee must open the wine, as would be the case if the patron had purchased the wine from the premises. The wine must have its manufacturer´s seal intact when presented to the restaurant employee for opening.
This endorsement is only available to restaurants and banquet rooms as set out in the regulations:
“Banquet room” means either a self-contained premises or a specific area within a licensed premises whose primary use is for private social functions booked in advance. Only banquet rooms located in a hotel or motel are eligible for a BYOW endorsement.
“Restaurant” means a premises or portion of a premises to which a Liquor Sales Licence applies that is primarily used for the sale and service of meals for consumption by patrons seated at tables but does not include,
- a banquet room;
- premises where liquor is served under a caterer´s endorsement
- premises located on the property of a post-secondary educational institution or
- premises at which entertainment designed to appeal to erotic or sexual appetites or inclinations, as set out in section 23 of Ontario Regulation 719/90, is provided.
A Caterering Endorsement may not be used in conjunction with a BYOW Endorsement.
Note: The posting of a sign advising the public that your premises offers BYOW is voluntary. Should a licensee wish to post a sign, click here for suggested signage.
AGCO services for Ontario’s liquor sales licence holders are now available online! For more information, please visit the iAGCO Information page.