Special Occasion Permit - Auction Guide

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Section 1: Special Occasion Permits

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A Special Occasion Permit (SOP) is required any time liquor is sold or served anywhere other than in a licensed establishment or a private place (for example, a corporate boardroom or a residence). Note: liquor cannot be sold at a residence.

SOPs are for occasional, special events only, and not for personal profit or running an ongoing business. A permit may be revoked if the Registrar has reason to believe the event is being used for personal gain.

Types of Special Occasion Permits

SOPs may be issued for the following types of events and activities:

  • Private Events are limited to invited guests only and may not be publicly advertised. The public cannot be admitted and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of liquor at the event.

  • Public Events are open to the public. These events can be advertised and fundraising and/or profit from the sale of liquor at the event is permitted. There are several types of eligible public events:

    • Public events include events of provincial, national or international significance, or designated by a municipal council or its delegate as an event of municipal significance.

    • Charity Events are public events conducted by a charitable organization registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada), a non-profit association or organization for the advancement of charitable, educational, religious or community objects.

    • Tailgate Events are public events that are held in connection with, and in proximity to, a live sporting event and where attendees may bring their own liquor (BYOB) for consumption at the event.

    • Industry Promotional Events are public events held to promote a manufacturer’s product(s). Manufacturers or a licensed representative can provide or sell samples and take orders for liquor purchases.

  • Auctions are conducted by a charitable organization, administrator or executor of an estate or law enforcement officer acting within the scope of their duties. Auctions may be conducted wholly or partly online.

This guide provides an overview of Auction SOPs.

For information on private events, other public events, industry promotional events and tailgate events, see the AGCO’s Special Occasion Permit Guide or Tailgate Event Guide.

Section 2: Auction SOP

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An Auction SOP authorizes the permit holder to sell liquor through an auction and deliver, for a fee, liquor that is sold through the auction.

An Auction SOP does not allow for the sale and service of liquor at an event. Liquor purchased through an auction cannot be consumed at the event.

Who can apply?

The AGCO authorizes charitable organizations registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada), or an Administrator, Executor or Law Enforcement Officer acting within the scope of their duties to auction liquor at an event. Non-profit associations/organizations are NOT eligible.

Section 3: Revocation of Permit

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A police officer or AGCO Inspector may revoke an Auction SOP while the event is underway if they reasonably believe that the Liquor Licence and Control Act or its regulations are being contravened in connection with the event.

An auction permit holder may be issued a monetary penalty as a result of specific breaches of the Liquor Licence and Control Act, its regulations and the standards and requirements established by the Registrar. For further information on monetary penalty refer to the Schedule of Monetary Penalties which can be found on the AGCO website.

Section 4: Application Fees and Deadlines

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An applicant can apply for an Auction SOP online by creating an iAGCO account. Through the iAGCO account, the applicant can check the status of the application and, once it is approved, print the permit.

SOP application fees are non-refundable. Please refer to the Schedule of Fees on the AGCO website for current Auction permit fees.

The application for an Auction SOP must be submitted at least 30 days prior to any event where alcohol will be for sale by auction.

Section 5: Submitting an Auction SOP application

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Applicant Information

An applicant must be 19 years of age or older to obtain an SOP. If the applicant is an organization, the application must be completed by a member or representative who will be at least 19 years of age on the day of the event, who has signing authority for the organization. Applicants must provide all information, materials, documentation or approvals as may be requested.

Responsible Person(s)

The permit holder/responsible person must be present during the event and is responsible for the safety of people attending the event. They must ensure the event is run in compliance with the Liquor Licence and Control Act, its regulations and the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

The permit holder/responsible person indicated on the application will be noted on the permit. If there is more than one responsible person, all must be named and at least one of the persons named must be present at the event at all times.

The permit holder or, if applicable, designate shall make the permit available for inspection upon request. For an auction that is conducted wholly or partly online, the permit holder must post on the permit number on the website or online platform on which the auction is conducted for the duration of the event.

NOTE: If the permit holder/responsible person is unable to attend, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to designate in writing someone to attend the permit event on their behalf. The designated person is responsible for ensuring that all legal requirements for the permit event are met. The designated person must not be someone who has previously been refused a permit by the AGCO.

Event Details

Auction events can be conducted online and/or in person.

The location/area where the event is to take place must meet the requirements below:

  • The permit location/area where liquor will be sold must be readily distinguishable from areas where the permit does not apply. This means that for in-person auction events, all areas that are not part of the permit area must be clearly defined and visibly separated from those areas covered under the permit.

A premise used as a dwelling, not including the common areas of a multiple unit residential building, shall not be used for the sale, service or consumption of liquor under a permit. For auctions that are conducted wholly or partly online, the Registrar may issue a single auction permit for events that do not exceed 15 consecutive days.

Section 6: Storage and Delivery of Liquor for an Auction Event

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Obtaining Liquor

The permit holder is responsible for obtaining liquor in accordance with the Liquor Licence and Control Act and its regulations.

Permit holders are responsible for making bidders aware that liquor available for purchase through auction, may not have been tested by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

Donated Liquor

Manufacturers and liquor sales licensees may not donate liquor to be auctioned. However, if the auction event is held in conjunction with a charity event, donated liquor from a manufacturer may be auctioned for sale only. Please see the Special Occasion Permit Guide for more information on charity events.

Homemade Wine and Beer

Homemade wine and/or beer cannot be sold through auction.

Storage of Liquor

If a multiple day Auction SOP is issued, the permit holder may store liquor in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.

Removal and Delivery of Liquor

The successful bidder for liquor at an auction may remove the purchased liquor from the permitted premises when they leave.

Liquor sold through an auction may be delivered by the permit holder, by an employee of the permit holder, a carrier or a holder of an AGCO licence to deliver liquor. The liquor must be in a sealed, unopened container.

Liquor can be delivered by the holder or an employee of the holder to a residence or private place. The permit holder must ensure that it is delivered to a person who is at least 19 years of age located at the address provided by the person who purchased the liquor and does not appear to be intoxicated. The liquor can be delivered only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on any day.

Liquor delivered by a carrier must be delivered on the same day that it is received from the permit holder, or on the first regular delivery day that follows. If the carrier is unable to deliver the liquor within three days following its initial attempt, the liquor must be returned to the permit holder. The carrier cannot store liquor except to temporarily keep liquor at its premises until the liquor is delivered or returned to the permit holder.

Please see the standards and requirements established by the Registrar for more information about record keeping requirements for the delivery of liquor from an auction.

Section 7: Other Requirements

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An auction permit holder may advertise or promote the availability of liquor only in accordance with the standards and requirements established by the Registrar.


For in-person auctions s, the permit holder must provide sufficient security to ensure that the conditions of the permit and the standards established by the Registrar are observed.