Renewal of a liquor licence in Hong Kong overview

This section concerns renewals of liquor licenses which are usually done on an annual basis or once every two years (for good conduct premises).

Using form FEHb 106A, the link to  the website and that form is below.

The Liquor Licensing Board obviously has to process these renewals.  You must always remember the deadlines involved, they keep changing. They are significantly many months in advance of the expiry date. If you miss them, there’s always a chance you will fall out of licence status.

So my first comment is to make sure you apply for your renewal within the timelines issued as guidance by the Liquor Licensing Board.  As for the form itself, the earlier parts of the form are exactly the same as those for an application for a liquor licence.  There is no reason why on a renewal, normally, any of these matters will be changed and any changes to the form, such as changing liquor selling hours, changing opening hours, changing company names or details will undoubtedly cause the Liquor Licensing Board to ask questions.

So the general position would normally be on a renewal that nothing will change.

If you want to add a nominee for the licence that’s in part 10 of the form that’s fine. If you want to change your weekly day off or move it to something unfixed, that normally would not cause an issue. However, if changes are being made to operational hours and related matters, then, questions may be asked and attention may be drawn to the renewal, which could delay your renewal or even result in a hearing of the Board. 

There’s a need to update your status as a licence holder and any criminal convictions, punishments or fines and the like, because that could change. 

Item 14

We now bump into an issue which is quite important, the Liquor Licensing Board have “point 14”, which is the percentage revenue generated from liquor selling to the total revenue of the subject premises. If this is over 50% of the Liquor Licensing Board traditionally would require a bar endorsement to be applied for and the issues of bar endorsements have been discussed by me on the application for a liquor licence section of this resource so go there if you want to learn more about that. 

Link to Application Guide – Page 12 Items 27-29

Item 15

There is a request, whether or not one wants to apply for an amendment simultaneously. 

That’s an interesting area, but it’s also covered in the applications for amendments section of this resource.

Link to Amendment of a licence


The last page of the form concerns the need for two referees. These referees are people that should know the applicant, that’s the person who’s signing the form, and there’s a bit of confusion here. The applicant for the licence or the renewal doesn’t need to have lived in Hong Kong for 10 years. But the people who are referees do need to have resided in Hong Kong for the whole of 10 years before the date. 

So it’s quite an interesting threshold, you’ve got to make sure that the referees are indeed fitting that status, not some foreigners who have been dropping in and out or even locals who have been away.  Whether or not the people involved directly or indirectly connected with the sale of liquor, to me, is an interesting one because the licensee usually is an employee and probably isn’t even buying any liquor.  In any event, the situation is to just get two ideally independent referees who probably aren’t in the food and beverage business at all. Just a couple of friends.


Then there’s a signature for consent. The latter part of the form is documents that are required to be served, this is self-explanatory. As well as references to the guide and things like that.  There’s a data privacy ordinance notice allowing investigations to be made into you as a person and that standard as well.  There’s nothing much more to talk about regarding these issues in terms of renewals. 

Good Track record/2 year licences

Usually, if the applicant has been reasonably well-behaved and the premises have not been a problem, the Liquor Licensing Board will accept a renewal form, and it will proceed through the process leading to a renewal relatively simply. There is one possible thing on renewals worth talking about.  This is the right to a two-year licence under the policy of the Liquor Licensing Board for what’s known as good track record premises. 

There’s a link below in relation to a good track record and the possibilities of obtaining a two-year licence and the difficulties that have been experienced.  So I won’t go into that here. 

Nowadays, there is increasing expectation on the part of licensees that if their premises have behaved well or should I say they have, then a two-year licence would be granted.  If a one-year licence is offered by way of some kind of offer letter, without any explanation why or without full details that’s something you should look at carefully, and consider as to whether it’s acceptable. 

Any information contained in this overview should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.