How To Apply For Liquor License In Zimbabwe

liquor license

If you are starting a bar or bottle store in Zimbabwe, then one of the legal requirements in formalizing your business is to obtain a Liquor License.

This is different from the shop license I mentioned yesterday and is to be applied for separately. Here’s the process and what is required for the license;

  1. Four Identical Legible Floor and elevation plans of the business premises. These must be approved plans.
  2. Photocopies of the adverts you have posted in the government gazette and a daily paper
  3. An inspection letter from the City Health Services indicating that your requested site is fit for purpose.
  4. Payment for your submission.
  5. A letter from the Department of Town Planning with no objection to you operating a bottle store at your chosen premises.
  6. *Inspection report by the City Health Department or the Liquor Board Inspectorate on the status of the property
  7. A clearance from the police on the appropriate form.

Licenses are obtained from the Liquor board at the Makombe Building (along Leopold Takawira) as per the Liquor act. It’s also important to note that you have to be a Zimbabwean citizen to apply.

Hope that helps.

Common Questions about getting a liquor license

Q: If I have a shop license, so I still need a liquor license is I decide to add a bar?

A: Yes, you do. These are two completely different licenses, issued by different bodies and authorizing different things.

Q: Since the Liquor licensing board is in Harare, how do I get a license in a remote area?

A: The process to acquire a license is the same regardless of where you are situated. There was some talk a few years ago about the process being digitized so that the application process can be done online. I’m not aware of what became of this, I was unable to find any information. Based on a comment down below though, it seems that the Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) has people on the ground across all provinces and is able to assist you wherever you are.

P.S. This post was updated in June 2021 to reflect some of the generous insights provided via the comment section. Please note we are not Liquor licensing consultants or experts. This article is simply an attempt to help business people looking for information, which I have provided here based on the information I have at the time of this update.

24 Replies to “How To Apply For Liquor License In Zimbabwe”

  1. The Health Department do not issue a Liquor License but the Liquor Board located at the Makombe Complex as per the Liquor Act. Only Zimbabwe citizens can apply for a liquor license.
    Among other things you need the following:
    *a duly completed application form for the bottle store license
    *A letter from the Department of Town Planning with no objection to you operating a bottle store at your designated building site.
    *Inspection report by the City Health Department or the Liquor Board Inspectorate on the status of the property.
    *three approved plans showing the layout of the building
    *an affidavit which states that they are no ties to license
    *a copy of your identification signed by a commission of oath
    *police clearance on form 55
    *advert in the national paper and government gazette of your intention to open a bottle store
    * a copy of the lease agreement
    The Secretary of the Liquor Board is able to provide requirements to anyone interested in opening a bottle store.


    1. i want to open a small bar and tuck shop by our plot in Robert siyonka pumula Bulawayo,there is none operating in our area hence we have to walk a long distance to do I obtain a licence for this project

    2. May you please help me on what should be written on tie affidavit or is it possible to operate a bottle store using the land lord ‘ s licence maybe for 6 months whilst processing mine

  2. Thank you Max for the initial post and John for the clarity. I am researching on the issue of liquor licensing as even though it is a viable business, it is causing problems in urban communities. It seems liquor licenses are being dished out all over the place without any assessment on the impact this type of business has on the community. I am not saying that bottlestores and sports bars are bad, but I am worried that in a given shopping centre those are the only businesses which are open.

    Thank you for the information. Please John clarify what the form 55 is?

  3. Please could you confirm location of the liquor licensing board as I believe they have moved from the Makombe complex. Thank you.

  4. Want to open a bottle store /bar in the rural areas,are conditions the same with town?

    1. What can I do if I want to open a bottle store in remote areas do I do the same with what you explained

  5. Please can you clarify what is an ordinary Licence pertaining to opening a bottle store
    csn one sell pies or food

  6. liquor licensing board has since moved from makombe complex to makombe building situated along leopald takawira

  7. there is no licence called ordinary bottle store if your want to sell food i.e ties you may need to apply for a restaurant liquor licence or retaurant ordinary liquor licence

  8. the process of applying a licence is the same irrespective of the location in zimbabwe. liquor licensing board now has inspection in all provinces across the country they may assist anyone making applications


  10. I wish to open a bar in gimboki mutare a place is not yet developed i want to build a temporary bar on an open space. What is required of me

  11. ziwoni
    unfortunately a liquor licence cannot be transferred

  12. Good day, hope my email finds you well. Iam planning to open a Liquor Shop in the Harare Area and not Bar or Bottle store so i want to find out that is the application done the same way as of the Bottle store?
    Your response is highly appreciated

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