The NSLC is responsible for beverage alcohol permits for local manufacturers, manufacturing companies and other general permits as they pertain to the production, warehousing, and retailing of beverage alcohol in the province. To direct you through the process of obtaining a permit, we have highlighted our most common permit types and included details on how to proceed through the permitting process. Please review the options below and choose the type of permit that meets your needs.

General Permits

The NSLC offers an array of permit options for any local businesses who require beverage alcohol or ethanol for medicinal/health purposes, laboratory and scientific purposes, food preparation, and religious events.

These activities require one of the following permits:

  • Physician
  • Nursing Home
  • Naturopath
  • Food Industry & Food Manufacturers
  • Pharmacists
  • Mechanical & Scientific
  • Dentists
  • Hospitals
  • Sacramental Wine

Please contact Permits at to see which permit you qualify for and what documentation is needed before proceeding.

Registered Representatives

If you are interested in representing beverage alcohol products in Nova Scotia and would like to list your products through the NSLC, please follow the steps below:

  • Register your Business with Registry of Joint Stocks
  • Register your Employee(s) as a Registered Representative(s)
    • We have partnered with Service Nova Scotia to administer registered representative permits. Service Nova Scotia administers all aspects of the renewal process including reminders, payments, and permit preparation.
    • Access HERE
      • Once on the Service Nova Scotia site, please select “Licenses, Permits and Applications”. Next, use the keyword “NSLC” and select your municipality. This will take you to a new page where you can click the “Complete Form Online”.
      • If you’re registering someone who does not live in NS, please select “Halifax” in the drop-down menu.
      • Please include a letter on company letterhead, confirming the person works for the company

Private Wine Specialty Stores (PWSS) & NSLC Agency Stores

The NSLC Board of Directors and the NS Provincial Government must give their approval before a PWSS or NSLC Agency location can open. In both cases, new locations will be chosen through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP process will lay out all the necessary requirements.

More information about the RFP process, including active RFPs, can be found on the Provincial Government’s Procurement website.

NSLC Agency Stores - All candidates interested in opening an NSLC Agency location must note that any proposed location, must be at least 10kms from any Agent in another community, and that any proposed location must also be at least 13kms from the closest existing NSLC store. 

Inquiries related to Agency Stores can be forwarded to the Manager – Agency Store Network, Karen Skerry at

Inquiries related to PWSS, can be forwarded to the Manager – Licensee & PWSS Network, Jib Nasrallah at

Manufacturers Permits

For any individual(s) interested in starting a beverage alcohol business and looking to obtain one of the following permit types:

  • Brewery Permit
  • Distillery Permit
  • Winery Permit
    • Farm Winery
    • Commercial Winery

Please contact Permits at to obtain a checklist to help you get started.

Manufacturer Offsite Retail Store

Manufacturers in Nova Scotia wishing to participate in an event where beverage alcohol will be sold for consumption elsewhere (i.e. at home), must meet the following criteria:

  • All Manufacturers present are required to have an Onsite Retail Store Permit to be eligible for a Manufacturers Offsite Retail Store Permit
  • The sale, and potential sampling, of beverage alcohol must be part of an established event
  • The event must be sponsored by a person or an organization who are not directly related to the beverage alcohol industry
    • This means that as a Manufacturer you can’t organize your own event
  • The purpose of the event(s) must be to promote Nova Scotia’s tourism industry, agricultural industry, or the food & beverage industry.
  • The event cannot exceed 3 days in length, unless prior approval by the NSLC is received

Please note: NSLC permits can take up to 10 business days for processing.

If your event doesn’t meet these criteria, please find more information below about Special Occasion Licenses from Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel & Tobacco (AGFT).

Special Occasion Licenses (SOLs)

Individuals, businesses, charities, religious organizations, and non-profit community organizations need a Special Occasion Liquor License (Class 1 or 2) to serve or sell beverage alcohol at an event. Charities, religious organizations, and non-profit community organizations need a Special Occasion Liquor License (Class 3) to sell beverage alcohol at a community-based fundraising event.

More information can be found HERE. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click HERE.

Please note: AGFT licenses can take up to 10 business days for processing.

Requests for a Special Occasion License should be made directly to AGFT by phone (902) 424-6160, email at or by checking out their website HERE.

Contact the NSLC:

To obtain checklists or ask questions, please reach out to the Permits Office, 8:30 am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday at 902-450-5914 or by email at