FOOD, ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTE LICENSES
By: Magna Carta Law Office
FOOD LICENSE FOR RESTAURANTS
Opening a food business has its own set of legal considerations, which includes obtaining a variety of licenses and permits in order to start operating your business. The type of licenses to obtain depends on the type of products or services that are intended to be sold. All establishments in Thailand intending to serve or sell food are required to obtain a Food License from the Municipality or District where the proposed establishment or business will be located.
The entire procedure may take about two months from the date of submission of the application. An officer from the Municipality or District shall set an appointment to inspect the location, restaurant facilities and over-all sanitation to consider the approval of the license application.
Food License is valid for one year and must be renewed on a yearly basis.
ALCOHOL LICENSE & CIGARETTE LICENSE
An alcohol license must be obtained from The Excise Department (Ministry of Finance) for any of the following purposes:
- To sell alcoholic beverages
- To produce alcohol and possess related equipment
- To import more than one (1) litre of alcohol
- To transport untaxed alcohol from a factory
- To transport more than ten (10) litres of alcohol
- To transport more than one (1) litre but less than ten (10) litres of alcohol between specified territories (provinces)
Establishments that require liquor licenses include:
- Distillers, Importers, Distributors and Wholesalers
- Grocery and Convenience Stores
- Liquor stores
Alcohol license holders are prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages:
– to people younger than 20 years or those people that lose consciousness when they drink;
– between 12 midnight and 11am, and from 2pm to 5pm;
– in close proximity to educational and religious areas;
– at or within petrol stations and dormitories;
– at or within public parks provided by the government for public recreation;
– at or within State Public Health Service Units;
– at or within public offices, except in the areas designated for the establishment of shops or clubs;
In case the business establishment intends to sell cigarettes, it must also apply to The Excise Department for a Cigarette License. Alcohol & Cigarette Licenses must be renewed at the end of the calendar year (December 31). However, the applications for renewal are accepted starting from the month of October.