Regulation & Permits

There are many rules and regulations that must be followed by food and drinking establishments. We have compiled a list of resources that can be used in starting and running your business as well as some information that might be helpful.



Food Establishments


Food Establishment Starter Guide

A short two-page guide that gives an overview of what goes into opening a restaurant with linked resources. The guide talks about business plans, restaurant design, liquor licences, food safety and human resources.

Food Establishment Permit

This permit is required for anyone that wants to operate a food service establishment. For example, restaurants, cafes, takeout food, catering, canteens, or temporary food establishments.

Note 1: Food trucks would be a “Mobile Class 1” permit and market food vendors is a “Public Market” permit.

Note 2: Eating Establishments that are catering off site need a “Catering Extension” permit to serve alcohol at the off site catering location.


Food Handler Certification

Food handlers or food hygiene courses are for those who handle and work with food regularly, like those in the food service industry. The Food Safety Regulations require that at least one person per shift must have taken a food safety training course. It’s recommended that all people working with food take the food safety training course. The training must be renewed every five years.


Liquor Establishments


Liquor License Regulations 

The complete Nova Scotia Liquor Licencing Regulations. It includes descriptions and costs of the different liquor licenses.


NSLC Licensee Information

Information for becoming a licensee of NSLC for both regular orders and special orders of products that aren't held in stock regularly.

Liquor License Applications

Permanent Liquor License Application

The application for Eating Establishments, Lounges, Beverage Rooms and Cabarets to be able to purchase and serve alcohol.

Clubs Liquor License Application

The application for a permanent liquor license for a Club to be able to purchase and serve alcohol.

Special Occasions Liquor License Application

The application for a liquor license for special occasions or events. There are three classes of events that allow different distribution of liquor. See the application for more information.

NSLC Permits

Manufacturers must have a permit to produce and retail alcoholic beverages. NSLC provides permits for breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and more.

If you have any questions or concerns about Liquor Licenses or the regulations surrounding them, contact Alcohol and Gaming Services.


Alcohol and Gaming Division
Service Nova Scotia
780 Windmill Road, 2nd Floor
PO Box 545
Dartmouth NS B2Y 3Y8
Fax: 902




Alcohol and Gaming Division
Service Nova Scotia
1030 Upper Prince Street, Suite #1
Sydney NS B1P 5P6
Fax: 902