Licence to Deliver Liquor Guide

Last Updated: 
2021-11-29

Section 1: General Information

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) issues a licence that allow you to deliver liquor to customers for a fee. Licences are valid for either two or four years, at which time you must apply for a licence renewal.

A Licence to Deliver Liquor allows a licensee to deliver liquor purchased or obtained from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) or Brewers Retail Inc. (The Beer Store), any manufacturer’s on-site, licensed grocery stores on behalf of a customer or off-site retail store or an eligible liquor licensed establishment to individuals for a fee. A licence holder is not selling liquor – the licensee is an agent for another person who is legally entitled to purchase liquor or the liquor licensed establishment or retail store that is directing the delivery of an order to a customer. Liquor may not be purchased or obtained prior to receiving an order.

Section 2: Types of Licences

New licence

You should apply for a new licence if:

  • the liquor delivery service never had a licence
  • the liquor delivery service was licensed, but the licensee failed to renew the licence prior to its expiry date
  • the liquor delivery service was licensed, but the licensee will not consent to transferring the licence to you
  • the Registrar orders that a new application must be submitted
  • there are outstanding proceedings by the Registrar to suspend or revoke the current licence

Transfer of a licence

Transfer licences are issued for the remaining time period on the licence. A transfer of the licence is required if:

  • There is a change in officers or directors of a licensee that is a corporation, or a corporation that effectively controls the activities authorized under the licence.
  • A person becomes or ceases to be a partner of a licensee that is a partnership.
  • A person or partnership acquires a beneficial interest in the licensed business, including acquiring shares of a licensee that is a corporation or of a corporation that effectively controls the business, that results in the person or partnership holding or controlling 10 per cent or more of the outstanding shares, or of a class of shares, of the corporation.
  • A person or partnership other than the licensee becomes entitled to any of the profits from the sale of liquor or liable for any obligations incurred from the activities authorized under the licence.

A transfer will not be approved if the current licensee has an outstanding monetary penalty or if the recipient of the transfer would not be eligible to be issued a licence.

Temporary Contracting Out

A licensee may contract out the operation of the business to another person who is applying to receive the transfer of the licence if regulatory requirements are met. The licensee remains liable under the licence during the period for which the operation of the business has been contracted out.

The ability to contract out the operation of the business expires, on the issuance of the transfer of the licence; or on the issuance of a notice of proposal to refuse the transfer.

Section 3: Applying for a Licence to Deliver

You can apply for and manage any AGCO licence, endorsement or permit, including those described in this guide, online, through the iAGCO portal.

Note: You should allow at least eight weeks to get a licence. However, the process can take longer if your application is incomplete or inaccurate.

Fees and payment

  • Please refer to the AGCO’s Fee Schedule for the applicable fee.
  • When using online services, payments must be made by Visa, MasterCard or Interac Online.
  • Payments of $30,000 or more must be made by money wire transfer or electronic funds transfer (EFT). 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.

The application process

You can apply for a Liquor Delivery Service Licence online by creating an iAGCO account at www.agco.ca/iagco. Through your iAGCO account, you will be able to check the status of your application.

You will be contacted if additional information is required.

If there are no problems with your application or the liquor delivery service, your application will likely be approved.

If there is a concern about you or the past operation of the liquor delivery service, you may be requested to attend a meeting (or a conference call). In this case, AGCO staff will schedule the appointment or conference call and will inform you of the date, place and time. After this meeting staff will either:

  • recommend approval of the application
  • reserve the decision to a later date
  • recommend a Notice of Proposal be issued to refuse the application

Note: If the Registrar proposes to refuse your application, you are entitled to a hearing before the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). LAT will provide you with more information about the hearing process.

Issuing the licence

Once the Registrar receives all the required fee and information and is satisfied that your liquor delivery service conforms with the LLCA and its regulations, your application will be approved.

Licence transfer

The written confirmation that your licence application has been reviewed will also state whether or not the AGCO needs any other information. Proof of transfer confirming that your purchase of the business has been finalized must be submitted. The Registrar will then issue your licence.

Section 4: Application Checklist

The following are required to apply for a Liquor Delivery Service Licence:

  • fee
  • entity disclosure*
    Entity disclosure information must be provided by the applicant and by all entities directly or indirectly holding 10% or more of the outstanding shares, or a class of shares of the applicant.
  • personal disclosure*
    Personal disclosure information must be provided by all of the following persons:
    • sole proprietors
    • all officers and/or directors
    • all partners
    • any shareholder holding 10% or more of the outstanding shares, or a class of shares
    • on-site manager, if applicable
  • signature form
    • ‘Signature of Applicant - Corporation’ required if the applicant is a corporation
    • ‘Signature of Partner(s)’ required if the applicant is a partnership/limited partnership
    • ‘Signature of Applicant represented by Agent/Representative’ if the application is submitted on behalf of the Applicant.

* For complete information, please refer to the Personal and Entity Disclosure Requirements Guide

For transfers, the following documents will also be required:

  • Consent to Transfer (indicating the agreement of the current licence holder to transfer the licence)
  • Proof of Transfer (confirmation that the purchase of the business has been finalized)

Please note:

  • Check the expiry date of the existing licence. Does it expire in less than six weeks? If so, there may not be enough time to complete the transfer process before the current licence expires. Therefore, renew the liquor licence at this time.
  • If there are pending proceedings, the licence could be revoked or suspended by the Registrar. Therefore, the Registrar is unable to entertain your Transfer application. You may want to ask the current licensee whether the Registrar has any disciplinary proceedings against the business.

Section 5: Responsibilities of the Licensee

Once an order has been placed, a licensee may purchase or obtain the requested liquor at any retail store under the LLCA. This includes the LCBO, The Beer Store and any manufacturer’s on-site or off-site retail store (such as a retail wine store), or a licensed grocery store on behalf of a customer or the holder of an auction permit.

Licensees cannot purchase beer, wine and/or cider from any authorized grocery stores in which they hold an interest

Liquor with food orders can also be purchased or obtained from eligible liquor licensed establishments. Where acting on behalf of a liquor licensed establishment or by the glass endorsement, the Liquor Delivery Service must do so under an arrangement with the establishment for that purpose.

A licensee can deliver on behalf of an eligible liquor licensed establishment or on behalf of certain retail stores. Customers can order directly from an eligible liquor licensed establishment or retail store who then engages the Liquor Delivery Service to complete delivery.

Liquor must only be delivered to a residence or private place. The licensee must ensure that drinks are not tampered with or opened.

All individuals purchasing or delivering liquor must be at least 18 years of age and carry a copy of the Liquor Delivery Service licence. Licensees (and any employees and contractors) must understand the obligations under the LLCA, its regulations and standards or requirements established by the Registrar.

Licensees cannot purchase beer, wine or cider from any licensed grocery stores in which they hold an interest.

Record Keeping

All orders for liquor placed with a Liquor Delivery Service, whether for delivery from a liquor sales licensee or retail store, must include the following information, along with the licensee’s name and address:

  • The name and address of the customer;
  • The date on which the liquor is purchased, and the date on which it is to be delivered;
  • The kinds and quantities of liquor to be delivered; and,
  • The address where the liquor is to be delivered.

The licensee must keep the above noted records for each order for one year from the date of delivery. 

In addition, for deliveries by a liquor delivery licensee from a retail store, the licensee must also keep, for one year, a copy of every order given to the licensee by the retail store.

Delivery Hours

The permissible hours for the delivery of liquor by a Liquor Delivery Service are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. for liquor purchased or obtained from eligible liquor licensed establishments, by the glass endorsements, retail stores and auction permit holders. 

Storage of Liquor

Liquor Delivery Service licensees are allowed to store liquor that has been ordered by a customer.

Liquor must be stored securely before delivery and accessible only to the licensees (including employees and contractors). Storage is not be permissible in a dwelling and the licensee must ensure that the liquor is not opened or tampered with.

Liquor that cannot be delivered must be returned to the store or licensed liquor establishment from which it was purchased or obtained for a refund.

Social Responsibility Requirements

A Liquor Delivery Service cannot deliver liquor to, or allow a delivery to be accepted by, anyone under 19 years of age.

If it is suspected that a person is underage, the licensee must check the suspected minor’s identification. Identification must reasonably appear to have been issued by a government and include the person’s photograph and date of birth.

Licensees also must make sure that they do not supply or deliver liquor to anyone who is or appears to be intoxicated.

Agreements with Manufacturers

Licensees may enter into non-exclusive agreements with liquor manufacturers with on-site retail stores or winery off-site retail stores and The Beer Store to facilitate or promote the delivery of liquor. Where a Liquor Delivery Service chooses to enter into such agreements, the agreement cannot restrict a Liquor Delivery Service or manufacturer from entering into further agreements with other manufacturers.

Section 6: Helpful Resources

For more information, please contact AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario). 

Details about your responsibilities as a licensee under the LLCA and its regulations are available online at www.ontario.ca/laws or by contacting Publications Ontario (Key Liquor Industry Contacts).

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure they and their employees and contractors are informed of the laws, regulations, standards or requirements established by the Registrar, and any conditions affecting their licence.