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How to Get an Alberta Liquor LicenseOctober 25, 2019
As BC liquor license consultants, we’re often asked what to do when a BC liquor primary license is underperforming. If you’re new to BC liquor licensing, a liquor primary licence is most often used for:
A BC liquor primary license is also required for BC businesses that wants to offer liquor service as an add-on service to their customers, or, who want to establish a liquor-focused service area. These include:
- Art galleries
- Private clubs
- Cooking schools
- Salons and barbershops
This is good news for any BC business that might increase revenue by serving alcohol, but it’s also good news for businesses that have an underperforming BC liquor primary license. The BC government’s 2017 expansion of the types of businesses eligible for a primary liquor license and the ability to “convert” your current liquor primary license means that businesses now have options to “pivot” away from a business model that is underperforming or failing and use their liquor primary license for a more profitable purpose within their business.
Note: While this post is focused on BC liquor licensing, Rebecca Hardin and the Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors team also provide liquor license consulting in Alberta and the USA.
Salvaging Your BC Liquor License
When business is bad, it’s good to know you have options. The following is a brief list of ways to salvage your current BC liquor primary license and make good use of it.
Audit and optimize
Before making any decisions, contact the BC liquor license consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors. We can provide a detailed financial performance and operations audit to help identify areas you might improve to increase revenue.
Sell your liquor primary license
Selling your business and liquor primary license is a last resort, but sometimes becomes necessary. If you decide to sell an operating business, an audit and business performance optimization is recommended so we can work together to position your business and show positive results prior to putting it to market. Contact us for an audit or to get help selling your liquor primary license.
An endorsement is an addition to your existing BC liquor primary license. Examples of endorsements include family food service, permitting minors in recreational facilities or private clubs, sale of liquor at catered events, off-premises sales, and temporary use areas (for ski hills and golf courses that would like to extend liquor service to outdoor areas up to 26 times per year). It should be noted that off-premise sales on liquor primaries do have a value to purchasers. These endorsements have become extremely difficult to obtain due to the 30 km distance criteria imposed on them via a recent LCRB policy change.
Start with a fresh idea or pivot to another business model
Businesses need to be creative with their BC liquor primary license and we are all about guiding that creativity. Some businesses are starting out with creative business models rather than going all in on a bar or nightclub, and, businesses that are struggling with traditional liquor service businesses are pivoting to new business models.
- Craft beer lounge or bar
- Champagne bar
- Brew pub
- Service business + liquor sales (barbershop, salon, gallery, theatre)
- A more open plan to make a dance floor
- Food service and gaming bar
- Indoor bocci ball
- Cooking classes and wine tasting
By combining food or service-focused business with liquor service, businesses are redefining how liquor primary licenses are used.
Get Help with Your Underperforming BC Liquor Primary License
If you have a BC liquor primary license and your business is struggling, contact the liquor license consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors. Rebecca Hardin and her team can guide you to a solution that safeguards your liquor license and may save your business. We also provide liquor licensing expertise to businesses in Alberta, and the USA.