Alcohol and serving permits

To serve wine, strong beer, spirits and other fermented alcoholic beverages for remuneration, whether to the public or to closed groups, you need a licence. You apply for a permit from the municipality's environmental and building department.

Who can apply for a licence?

Alcohol legislation is a protective law that imposes high requirements on those who are part of the company when applying for a serving licence. They must be suitable to manage the serving of alcohol in a responsible manner that complies with the Alcohol Act.

A requirement of the application is that the applicant must have passed a national knowledge test in the Alcohol Act developed by the Public Health Agency. But also that personal, financial and other circumstances are considered to meet the requirements for suitability. Examples that may affect the assessment of the licence are drug offences, driving offences, but also mismanagement of tax and fee payments. It is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate his/her suitability to carry on the business.

Different types of service permits

A licence can be issued to the general public or to a closed party.

  • Permanent licence: all year round or annually for a certain period of time
  • Temporary licence: single period of time (maximum 3 months) or single occasion

Processing time for applications

The most common reason for a long processing time is that the application is not complete and information has to be requested by applicants. In Sollefteå municipality, you can submit your application via e-service, which facilitates registration and speeds up processing.

The following processing times apply to the various permits:

  • Permanent permits: approximately eight weeks.
  • Temporary licences for the general public: approximately four weeks.
  • Temporary permits for private parties approximately four weeks.

Serving permit

The licence holder has a responsibility to monitor the serving of alcohol. When this person is not present, a designated person in charge of serving alcohol must supervise the serving of alcohol and be present on the premises during the entire serving period. If neither the licence holder nor the server is present, it is a breach of the Alcohol Act. This may lead to a warning and, if repeated, to the revocation of the licence.

The person in charge of serving alcohol must be at least 20 years old, have knowledge of alcohol legislation and otherwise be suitable for the task. The licence holder must notify the municipality of the person or persons appointed to be responsible for serving alcoholic beverages. It is the duty of the licence holder to inform the persons appointed to be responsible for serving alcohol of what this entails.

Changes in operations

If you have a catering licence, you are obliged to notify us of any changes to your business.

Examples of changes:

  • If you change the nature of your business, for example from a purely food-oriented restaurant to a restaurant with entertainment activities such as dancing or entertainment,
  • If you are remodelling your premises.
  • If you change the details of your business, such as name or address.
  • If you make changes to the ownership, management, operator, etc.

If the business ceases; you must submit a restaurant report to the local authority alcohol officer no later than 14 days after it ceases.

Knowledge test

A prerequisite for the granting of a serving licence is that the persons who have significant influence in the business have sufficient knowledge of the Alcohol Act. As a rule, applicants for a licence must therefore pass a knowledge test in the municipality handling the application. The knowledge test is web-based and developed by the National Public Health Agency.

If you do not already have a certificate of successful completion of the knowledge test, you can make an appointment to take the test with the alcohol officer in the municipality. The test covers four areas: alcohol policy, serving, food and equipment and supervision. The cost of taking the test is SEK 1,200 per session and you have three attempts to pass, after which the application is rejected and a new application must be submitted.


The municipality charges a fee for processing your application, both for permanent and temporary permits. The municipality also charges an annual fixed enforcement fee and a variable fee based on the turnover of alcohol sold. A decision on the new fee was taken by the City Council on 29/02/2016.


The municipality and the police authority are responsible for the supervision of restaurants within the municipality. As the licence holder, you are obliged to allow the supervisors access to the premises of the restaurant and to provide documents relating to the business. Supervision is divided into preventive supervision, internal supervision and external supervision.

Supervision in Sollefteå is carried out by alcohol officers and the police. Sometimes also as coordinated restaurant supervision with other relevant authorities that have insight into the restaurant industry, such as the Swedish Tax Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Preventive supervision

Preventive supervision refers to preventive work in the form of information for licence holders/applicants or training, such as responsible alcohol serving. The aim of preventive supervision is to make you, the licence holder, aware of the requirements of the Alcohol Act so that there are no shortcomings in your business.

Internal supervision

Internal supervision refers to the verification of data from various authorities such as the Tax Agency and the Police. The aim is to check that you, as a licence holder, are still fit to hold a licence. Restaurant sales are also monitored through restaurant reports.

External supervision

External supervision is supervision where your restaurant receives unannounced visits. After the inspection, you as the licence holder receive feedback with information from the inspection and any remarks. Supervision is carried out regularly by the municipality's alcohol officer together with the police. Sometimes it is carried out together with the Tax Agency, the emergency services and the environmental unit. Pubs with a young audience or where there is a risk of disturbance are visited more often.

Supervision is a check that the restaurant is serving alcohol in accordance with the licence issued and that it is not in breach of the Alcohol Act.

Key elements of external supervision are:

  • the state of order inside and outside the restaurant
  • the level of intoxication of the guests
  • the absence of serving minors
  • the way in which alcoholic beverages are marketed
  • the food on offer
  • the availability of light drinks
  • the presence of illegal alcohol and drugs

Supervision fee

All restaurants pay an inspection fee each year. It is divided into a fixed part and a variable part. The variable part is based on the turnover of alcoholic beverages, which is disclosed in the restaurant report.