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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

Licence to retail alcoholic beverages

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

Retail trade of beverages that contain more than 2.8% alcohol requires a licence. You must apply for and be issued a licence before retailing alcoholic beverages. A retail trade licence can also be granted for a manufacturing site of estate wines (maximum percentage of alcohol 13) or craft beers (maximum percentage of alcohol 12). The licence to retail alcoholic beverages is specific to the place of business and operator. The licence to retail alcoholic beverages is valid until further notice or for a fixed term.

The Regional State Administrative Agency grants the licence to a natural or juristic person who fulfils the prerequisites set in the Alcohol Act regarding the applicant and operations.

A licence cannot be granted to a limited company, cooperative or association that is being set up, as they will only have legal capacity after their registration. If the licence has been granted to an individual in the above-mentioned scenario, after the registration, the licence matter must be forwarded to be processed by the Regional State Administrative Agency if the business is practised for the benefit of the community. An established open or limited partnership may apply for a licence in its own name after it has submitted a report of a new business to the register authority.

The licence holder is obliged to notify the Regional State Administrative Agency about any changes of ownership or place of business.

Do the following

When applying for a licence to retail trade alcoholic beverages, you must have a valid business ID that is registered in the Tax Administration’s register.

Fill out the following forms:

  • licence to retail alcoholic beverages
  • description of the food selection retail trade
  • self-supervision plan for retailing alcoholic beverages

In addition, the following documents are required in the licence application. The required documents are listed in the application form.

The fulfilment of prerequisites for a licence can be assessed based on the actual circumstances, if the application or circumstances clearly indicate that the applicant's operations or administration are managed by someone else than the previously-mentioned person, or if the arrangements concerning the process have been presented contrary to the actual circumstances in order to evade the regulations.

To whom and on what terms

Granting a licence to a natural person requires that

  1. the applicant is of age, their legal competence is not restricted under the Guardianship Services Act and they have not been appointed a guardian
  2. the applicant has not been declared bankrupt and they are financially able to manage the operations and the fulfilment of their legal obligations
  3. the applicant is known to be reliable and possesses personal qualities that make them suitable for the task.

Granting a licence to a juristic person requires that

  1. the applicant has not been declared bankrupt and they are financially able to manage the operations and the fulfilment of their legal obligations
  2. the applicant’s CEO and members of administrative body as well as all partners in an open partnership and responsible partners in a limited partnership fulfil the above-mentioned prerequisites.

The prerequisites for granting the licence are not considered fulfilled, if previous operations indicate that the applicant or person is, all things considered, unsuitable to practise the trade in accordance with the Alcohol Act.

The previous operations may mean that

  1. the applicant or person has significantly or repeatedly neglected to pay taxes or other public fees or they have exerted control over a juristic person who has neglected to pay taxes or other public fees
  2. the applicant or person is permanently unable to pay their debts as discovered during execution or other account
  3. the applicant or person has been sentenced within the last five years for an intentional offence related to business activities that may result in imprisonment
  4. the applicant’s or person's licence under the Alcohol Act has been revoked permanently within the last five years or they have exerted control over a juristic person whose licence under the Alcohol Act has been revoked within the same time
  5. the applicant or person is considered to abuse intoxicating substances based on crimes or offences committed under influence or apprehension due to intoxication in accordance with the Police Act.

A fee is charged for the service.

A charge is payable for the licence. Fees are determined by the Government’s act on the Regional State Administrative Agency’s fees in 2019 and 2020.


Deadline

Apply for a license well before starting the operations.

Processing time

Processing of the application may take 1 - 2 months.

Period of validity

The licence to retail alcoholic beverages is valid until further notice or for a fixed term.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 9/9/2020