Know Ahead of Your Mistakes! Prepare Yourself before Serving Alcohol at Your Restaurant

Aug 22, 2021
As we’re unofficially entering the period at the end of the year, the celebratory mood will soon permeate, sending off the old year and welcoming the New Year. This is another period in which many restaurant owners are determined to turn a profit. Almost inseparably, what people think of during New Year celebrations are alcoholic beverages. However, because alcohol beverages are regulated by law, restaurants that want to sell them must first obtain proper permits. Otherwise, restaurants discovered to be selling these beverages without a permit might be immediately shut down. We have some details as follows on what the permit application process involves and what agencies you might need to contact.

You need commercial registration before you sell liquor or beer at your restaurant.

The first thing that many restaurant owners have to do if they want to sell alcoholic beverages is to register commercially. This is because selling liquor or beer is a type of commercial business prohibited to owners of ordinary stores. Accordingly, restaurant owners have to apply for commercial registration for the sale of food and beverages at the district office of the district in which the restaurant is located. However, if the restaurant is already being operated by a juristic person or a registered company, commercial registration in this part is not necessary.

Required documents for commercial registration

  • Commercial registration form (Tor. Por. Form) downloadable by clicking this link:
  • Copy of the personal identification card of the commercial business owner (if a power of attorney has been appointed to complete the registration process).
  • If the commercial business owner is a homeowner, also present the house registration to the registrar. If the business owner is not the homeowner, the following documents have to be additionally attached:
  • A letter of consent for the use of facilities as a main office or (2) a copy of the rent agreement of the location designated as the main office.
  • A map showing the location used for the commercial business and important locations nearby in brief, along with a power of attorney letter (if any).
You need to properly request for a permit to sell alcoholic beverages.

Because liquor is a controlled substance, the selling of liquor, including beer, must first be preceded by properly obtaining a permit in accordance with the law. The agency in charge of overseeing and issuing such a permit includes the Excise Department for Bangkok and provincial excise offices for provincial areas. Otherwise, you can request a permit online through the Excise Department’s website >>

The permit you will be applying for will be a sales permit, which involves uncomplicated procedures and is different from permits for manufacturers and importers. Nevertheless, you need to know that there are two types of permits:  sales permits and manufacture/import permits.

Another important thing that entrepreneurs should know when applying for a liquor sales permit is that the location of your restaurant must be away from educational facilities, religious places, gas stations and other legal zones, which can be checked with the local excise office.

Required documents in applying for a liquor sales permit

  • Liquor sales permit request form, Form Sor. Yor. Por. 1, downloadable by clicking this link:
  • A copy of the house registration and personal identification card of the applicant.
  • A letter of consent issued by the facility owner for using the facility for selling alcohol, along with a copy of the house registration and personal identification card of the owner of the facility.
  • If the facility is rented, attach the rent agreement of the facility along with a copy of the house registration of the rented facility.
  • A map showing the location of the restaurant selling food and liquor, to allow officials to verify zoning.
  • A power of attorney letter along with a copy of the personal identification card of the power of attorney holder.
Once you have applied for a permit, officials will require some time to examine documents and check zoning. If everything is orderly according to regulations, a one-year permit will be issued, of which the permit holder will need to renew every year.

As a precaution, after you receive a liquor sales permit, the type of liquor you can sell is every brand permitted to sell in Thailand, regardless of whether they are Thai brands or properly imported and taxed, and you cannot sell liquor that you manufacture yourself. In addition, for any menu item that contains liquor as an ingredient, if the liquor used as an ingredient is a permitted liquor, then the menu item can be made, such as cocktails.

So, if any restaurant owner would like to sell alcoholic beverages such as liquor and beer at the owner’s restaurant, the owner should apply for a permit early on. That way, any issues or problems that occur can be corrected in time. Additionally, if any restaurant owner would like to have a band to play live at the restaurant and an entertainment venue permit must also be obtained in compliance with the law if the restaurant is open after midnight. Accordingly, you can apply for this latter permit at local police stations in Bangkok and at local district offices in provincial areas.  The consideration period is about 10-15 days.
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