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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 a particular trader and premises. If a restaurant relocates to a new address or the operator (business ID) changes, a new serving licence has to be applied for. A serving licence may also be issued to an applicant with no licensed premises if the serving is meant to take place by notification in licensed areas approved in advance.
The licence granted for an indefinite or temporary period.
A licence for serving alcohol on the territory of more than one Regional State Administrative Agency, for example on 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. Serving aboard a vessel or aircraft in foreign traffic, or in the area of an airport used for foreign traffic which can be accessed only by passengers with plane tickets is possible by notifying Valvira of the serving activity.
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 Serving of alcoholic beverages on licensed premises (pdf).