Street trading

If you trade in the street you may require a street trading licence. Applications should be made in writing (including by electronic means) to your local district council, or the district council for the area you wish to trade.

You must provide specific information, including details of the street you wish to trade on and the days and times you wish to trade. You may also be required to provide two photographs of yourself. You must comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

You must be over 17 years of age to hold a licence.

Licences will be refused if any of the following grounds exist:

  • There isn't enough space in the street you wish to trade in, without causing interference or inconvenience to street users
  • You wish to trade for less days than any minimum required trading days
  • You are unsuitable to hold a licence do to any previous convictions or for other reasons
  • You have previously failed to pay fees due under another street trading licence or have failed to use a previous street trading licence

Under certain circumstances if certain grounds for refusal exist, the council may still award a licence but for fewer days than require, or to allow trade in certain items. The council will either grant the application or serve a notice on you within a reasonable time.

The notice will be served if the council intend to refuse the application, grant it on different terms than those applied for, confine trading to a particular place in a street, vary conditions of a licence or revoke a licence.

The notice will detail the grounds for their decision and state that within seven days of the notice you can request in writing the opportunity to make representations.

If you wish to appeal a decision of the council you may appeal to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the date you were notified of the decision. You may appeal the decision of a Magistrates' Court to the local Crown Court

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, the Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.