Commercial serving of alcoholic beverages is subject to licence. You must apply for, and be granted, a licence before you can begin serving alcohol.
The serving licence is specific to the trader and the premises. The licence granted for an indefinite, fixed-term or temporary period.
A serving licence may be granted to an adult applicant not subject to bankruptcy proceedings, whose competence to run a business has not been restricted and who is deemed sufficiently reliable to serve alcoholic beverages as well as having the necessary economic and professional qualifications.
The serving licence is granted, on written application, by the Regional State Administrative Agency in whose area of operation the alcohol-serving premises are located.
A licence for serving alcohol onboard a domestic public transport vehicle is granted by the applicant’s local Regional State Administrative Agency or, if the applicant is not domiciled in Finland, by Valvira. If alcohol is sold to passengers onboard a Finland-registered vehicle operating between Finland and other countries, the operator must submit a written notification to Valvira before commencing sales.
Providing guidance on alcohol licensing and supervision to the Regional State Administrative Agencies forms part of Valvira’s tasks. Through guidance, we seek to ensure that legislation is consistently applied throughout Finland. For an overview on the issues relevant to serving alcohol, please see our guidelines Alcohol Issues in Licensed Premises.