Experiences involving alcohol in Hong Kong
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to serve/provide alcohol as part of my Experience. Do I need any licences for that?
If your Experience involves selling alcohol to be consumed on-site, you will need to obtain a Liquor Licence from the Liquor Licensing Board (“LLB”) under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance (Cap 109) and the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations (Cap 109B).
For example, you will need to obtain a Liquor Licence for a wine tasting or cocktail making Experience. For licensing purposes, it is irrelevant whether the charge involved takes the form of a flat fee (e.g. for admission into the premises or for the event), whether a charge is applied for each serving of alcohol, or that no separate charge is applied for the alcohol provided. The amount of alcohol consumed is also not relevant.
To apply for a Liquor Licence, the process involves submitting an application form, accompanied by supporting documents and the application fee (which ranges from HKD 1,990 to HKD 5,910 depending on the duration of the licence and whether there is a bar kept on the relevant premises). The application will then be referred to the Commissioner of Police and the concerned District Officer for comments, and will later be published for public comments. For further information as to how to apply for a Liquor Licence and the application procedure, please refer to the Liquor Licensing Board’s website.
In addition, the relevant authorities may require you to obtain a Restaurant Licence in conjunction with a Liquor Licence. For more information on Restaurant Licences, please refer to our information page on Experiences Involving Food in Hong Kong. We encourage you to check with the relevant Liquor Licensing Office or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
The LLB also issues Temporary Liquor Licences for the retail sale of liquor at any public entertainment or on any public occasion, but it should be noted that only a person who is already in possession of a full Liquor Licence may be eligible for a Temporary Liquor Licence.
Failure to comply with the liquor licensing requirements is a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of HKD 1 million and imprisonment for 2 years.
What if my Experience takes place at a bar?
If your Experience solely involves taking guests to licensed bars, you will not need to obtain a Liquor Licence. A list of licensed premises can be found here. However, as an Experience host, you have a responsibility for the health and safety of your guests, and should take particular care in relation to any Experience that involves the consumption of alcohol.
What if I wish to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
You will not need to obtain a Liquor Licence for your guests to bring their own alcohol.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What else do I need to keep in mind?
If you produce your own alcohol, you will be considered a manufacturer of alcohol, and will additionally need to obtain a Food Factory Licence regardless of the intended scale of production and whether the alcohol is home-brewed or produced in a commercial setting. However, similar with Restaurant Licences, it won't be possible to obtain a Food Factory Licence if the relevant premises are designated for residential use only.
Information as to how to apply for a Food Factory Licence is available on the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's website. You can also contact your relevant Licencing Office for more information.
Furthermore, if you produce alcohol with an alcohol content of greater than 30%, you may need to obtain licences and/or permits from the Customs and Excise Department (even if you do not export the alcohol) unless the "home-brewing exception" applies. Under this exception, a licence is not required from the Customs and Excise Department if:
- the alcohol is manufactured other than by distillation and other than for sale, by a person over 18 years in premises which are used by the person exclusively as his place of residence which constitutes a separate household unit;
- the alcohol manufactured does not exceed 50 litres;
- the alcohol manufactured is stored in a sealed container marked legibly with the words "Home Brewed, Not for Sale"; and
- the alcohol is manufactured for immediate consumption.
You may contact the Customs and Excise Department for further information. You will not need to obtain any licence or permit from the Customs and Excise Department if you only brew beer or produce wine with alcohol content of less than 30%.
If my Experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes. You should make sure that all attendees meet the minimum drinking age of 18. Under the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations, permitting any person under the age of 18 to drink any intoxicating liquor is an offence, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of HKD 50,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.
If your Experience also involves preparing food for sale, or selling food, we encourage you to take a look at our information page on Experiences Involving Food in Hong Kong. Similarly, if your Experience combines alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour), please take a look at our other information pages to see if any other rules might apply to your Experience. You should also refer to our Business Registration page for information as to whether you will need to register a business.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).