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Commercial serving of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 2.8% by volume 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 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.
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 Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. 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 guidelinesServing of alcoholic beverages on licensed premises (pdf).