Persons or enterprises who will be running an establishment serving alcoholic beverages, must apply for a licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages. A licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages is granted for four years at a time. The licence may be valid for the whole year, or a specific part of the year. All owners of serving establishments are required to have a licence to serve alcohol.

Who applies for the licence?
The company that will have the financial responsibility for serving alcoholic beverages shall apply for the licence.  If the responsible business is a sole proprietorship, the proprietor must apply for the licence.

The licence may apply to

  • alcoholic beverages (above 2.5 percent alcohol by volume) with a maximum of 4.7 percent alcohol by volume
  • alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content lower than 22 percent by volume 
  • all alcoholic beverages 

Application form

Apply here. The form requires the applicant to log into the ID Portal.

Transfer of serving establishment

The licence lapses when ownership of the establishment is transferred.  The same also applies, for example, when a majority of the shares or units in a company that owns the establishment are transferred to new ownership.
The establishment can however continue to use the previous owner’s licence for up to three months.  This may only happen if the licensing authority is informed about the transfer and a new licence is applied for as soon as possible, and at latest within 30 days after the transfer.

Manager and deputy

A manager and deputy, approved by the licensing authority, must be appointed for ever license.  Manager and deputy must have passed the relevant proficiency test for retailing or serving alcohol. You can find information on the proficiency test on the right, under related links. Both must be over 20 years of age and they must be employed by the serving establishment, or work in the establishment by virtue of ownership. If a manager or deputy leaves, the licensee must immediately apply for approval of a new manager/deputy.

Requirement of good repute
The licensee and anyone exerting material influence on the establishment must be of spotless repute, including in relation to all legislation that applies to alcohol, tax, VAT and accounting practice etc.  The manager and deputy must also be of spotless repute, including in relation to the alcohol legislation.

Processing time 

The Alcohol Act sets no time limits for processing an application for a licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages.  You will receive an interim reply within two weeks of our receiving your application. You will receive a final answer once your application has been processed. Processing time for an application for a licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages may be up to 3 months from receipt of a complete application. An application is complete when all necessary enclosures are present.

All applications for a licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages will be sent out for consultation to the police, tax and VAT authorities and the health and care department in the Municipality.  When we say that processing time can be up to 3 months, we are taking into account that the consultees may have comments and that we give the applicant the opportunity to send us feedback on the comments. The consultees also need time to process the case. 


There are no fees for an application for a licence to retail or serve alcoholic beverages, but an annual licence fee must be paid at rates determined by the Ministry.



Executive officer: Linda Rostad, tel 7559 3314/7555 5000, or email: