1. What types of Special Occasion Permits (SOP) are available?
    Ontario’s Liquor Licence Act requires you to have a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) if you wish to serve alcohol outside of a residence, a private place or a licensed establishment or to sell alcohol anywhere outside of a licensed establishment. View infographic: Which type of SOP do you need?
    There are three types of special occasions for which a permit may be issued.  As application fees are non-refundable, please ensure you are applying for the correct permit:
    • Private Event: For events where only invited guests will attend. These events cannot be advertised and there can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.
    • Public Events: For events that are open to the public. Public events can be advertised and allow for fundraising/profit from the sale of alcohol. Public Event SOPs are only issued to registered charities, non-profit organizations whose object is to promote charitable, educational, religious or community objects, or to events designated as being of municipal, provincial, national or international significance.
    • Industry Promotional Events: For events held to promote a liquor manufacturer’s product through sampling. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.

    Regardless of the type of SOP you need, your SOP application through iAGCO will automatically determine if your event is either a “Sale” or “No Sale” permit, depending on how you plan to serve alcohol at your event.
    “Sale” Permits

    • You are planning to have a cash bar at your event.
    • You are planning to sell tickets to your event where alcohol will be served, or will be requiring a cover charge for admission.

    “No Sale” Permits

    • You are not charging your guests for alcoholic drinks (e.g. you are not selling drink tickets or having a cash bar).
    • You are not charging guests to attend the event (e.g. you are not selling tickets or requiring a cover charge).

    For more information, please visit the SOP Guide, which can be found on www.agco.ca. View infographic: Which type of SOP do I need?

  2. When should a SOP application be submitted to the AGCO?
    Outdoor events ** Number of people expected to attend event When must I submit written notice to municipal clerk’s department, police, fire and health department?
    • Private events
    • Public events
    • Industry Promotional events
    5,000 or less people per day Give a written notice 30 days before the event.
    • Private events
    • Public events
    • Industry Promotional events
    5,000 or more people per day Give a written notice 60 days before event.
    ** If there is a tent, marquee, pavilion or tiered seating being used, then the local building department must also be notified in writing.

     

    Indoor events When must I submit my application to the AGCO?
    • Private events 
    Your application must be submitted to the AGCO at least 10 days prior to the event.
    Public Events Your application must be submitted to the AGCO at least 30 days prior to the event.
    Industry Promotional events Your application must be submitted to the AGCO at least 30 days prior to the event.

    Applicants will receive an email notification once their SOP application has been approved. To download and/or print the permit, please log into your iAGCO account.

  3. What are the necessary documents when applying for a diplomatic SOP?
    Foreign Governments may apply for any type of SOP. For events held by a foreign government, the applicant must be:
    • The Ambassador/High Commissioner of the embassy/high commission, or
    • The Consul General, or
    • Trade Commissioner, or
    • An authorized representative of a foreign government.

    A letter of support from the embassy/Consular General on government letterhead, affixed with the embassy/Consular seal, must be submitted with the application.
    All SOPs held by a foreign government must be applied for online, through the iAGCO portal.

  4. Can I still use the paper application form to apply for a Special Occasion Permit?
    No. As of April 1st, 2018, all applications for Special Occasion Permits must be made online through the iAGCO portal. Should you have any questions or difficulty completing your application, please contact the AGCO’s Customer Service at phone icon416-326-8700 or toll-free in Ontario 1-800-522-2876. Submit your questions online at www.agco.ca/iAGCO.