Your Local Authority is responsible for dealing with licensing and regulation of a wide range of activities, premises and vehicles. Some licenses are required by law nationally. However, some may be required in one location but not another. Its important for you to know whether your business activity requires a license so that your business is lawful. Fees may be payable for relevant license to operate.

This covers business activities like:

Alcohol Entertainment and Gambling Licenses

  • Sale of alcohol (retail, pub restaurant or club)
  • Provision of regulated entertainment (Films, live & recorded music, dancing)
  • Late night refreshments food or drinks (23.00 to 05.00)
  • Licenses subject to 2003 Act including club premises, events and personal licenses
  • All aspects of gambling

Other Licenses, permits and registrations:

  • Market, street and mobile trading
  • Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire drivers, vehicles and operators
  • Animal boarding/daycare (Cats & Dogs), animal breeding (dogs), horse riding establishments, pet shops, zoos and dangerous wild animals
  • Town centre displays and the distribution of printed material
  • Charitable street and house to house collections
  • Special treatments and skin piercing (including acupuncture, electrolysis, body or ear piercing, tattooing)
  • Hairdressing and barbering
  • Sexual Entertainment Venues including sex shops and sex cinemas
  • Motor salvage and scrap metal dealing

This list is not exhaustive and other activities may require a license to operate. If you are unsure contact your local authority through the links below.

Quick Checklist

Check if any aspect of your business activity is likely to require licensing. Talk to your local authority.

National guidance on licensing

  • Plan ahead – each licence has separate procedures and some require a minimum notice period before your business can operate
  • Consult – you may need to consult with police, fire, DVLA, disclosure and barring service or the local planning and environmental health services – so ensure you allow plenty of time for this
  • Clarity – ensure relevant business activities and your fitness to operate them are well and clearly documented. This will greatly simplify license applications
  • Specialists – for more complex applications local advisors or consultants can help with your license application. Contact your local Growth Hub to connect with these businesses
  • Appeals – if your license application is refused, you may be given the opportunity to resolve objections without a hearing. Further appeal will be dealt with by application to the local Magistrates Court or Crown Court (depending upon the legislation that governs that license)

Links and Contacts:

Much of the information you need in relation to licensing compliance is dealt with by your local authority.  To find your local authority follow this link and input the postcode of your business location (or headquarters in England), Then navigate to licensing teams