How To Get A Wine Off-Licence For Your Shop

How long does the procedure take?

If your planning is in order and you are ready to proceed it is usually possible to get into Court within five to six weeks of giving us instructions to proceed.  Your building must be fully compliant with planning permission. In respect of available court dates, you need to bear in mind that some local District Courts sit infrequently and all Courts shut for holiday periods. The Gardai must be given 23 days notice of the Court application and the application itself must be advertised in a daily newspaper 23 days before the hearing date.

The Applicant

The applicant must be the person with the title to the property. This can be either leasehold or freehold title. If you hold the property under any other form of agreement you must discuss this as a matter of priority with us. The applicant can be an individual or a company. The applicant will be required to give evidence at the District Court application that he/she/the company is a fit and suitable person to hold a liquor licence.

If the Applicant is a Company

If the applicant is a company, a director of the company will give evidence on the Company’s behalf and will have to produce certain company documents to the Court.

The Building

It must be demonstrated to the Court that the premises are fit and convenient to be licensed and are suitable for the needs of persons residing in the neighbourhood. The premises must have the requisite planning permission to operate as a shop and must have been built and fitted out in compliance with that planning permission and have any necessary fire certificates as appropriate.

Title to the Premises

As stated above, the applicant for the licence must hold the title to the premises proposed to be licensed. In other words if you want to apply for a licence in your own name, you must also be the person whose name is on the title deeds, ie on the Lease or Conveyance of the premises.


You will need to be able to show the District Court that the requisite planning permission for retail use attaches to your premises and that any conditions set down in that planning permission have been complied with.

Fire Safety Certificate

You will also need to show the Court that a Fire Safety Certificate attaches to the premises and that any conditions set down in relation to fire safety been complied with.


You will need to have an architect involved in your project even if the shop is ready to trade. In particular he/she will be required to furnish a Certificate of Compliance with planning and fire safety requirements and to prepare a booklet of licensing plans which have to be lodged with the Court and served on the relevant Gardai. If you are using your own architect we will provide them with an instruction pack, which sets out in detail what we need from them for the licensing case.

Grounds for refusal of a wine licence

The District Court may refuse to give a person a certificate entitling him or her to receive a licence on the grounds of:

  • The character, misconduct or unfitness of the applicant;
  • The fitness or inconvenience of the premises;
  • The unsuitability of the premises for the needs of persons residing in the neighbourhood; or
  • The adequacy of the existing number of licensed premises of the same character in the neighbourhood.

It should be noted that any premises holding a full off-licence is relevant when assessing demand as a full off-licence consists of three separate licences (ie a spirit retailer’s off-licence, a beer retailer’s off-licence and a wine retailer’s off-licence).

The District Court may impose a condition relating to the installation of a closed circuit TV system on the premises.

Objectors to the Licence

The Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the area or any person who resides in the neighbourhood may object to the application.

Why Choose Us?

Liquor Licensing is a complex and multi faceted process.

We pride ourselves on providing a simple, non technical road map with a speedy timeline for completion of the project.   Along the way, we will liaise directly with architects and accountants to leave you free to concentrate on your business.

© Compton Solicitors January 2016

The Information in this document is provided subject to the disclaimer contained on the Compton Solicitors website. The material is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice.


For further information please contact

Lorraine Compton

T: +353 1 234 2678

E: lorraine.compton@comptonsolicitors.ie