Licensing law embraces market traders and Street Trading.

What is Street Trading?

Street trading means the selling, exposing or offering for sale any article (including a living thing) in a street: (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

A ‘street’ includes

  • any road, lay-by, footway, beach; or
  • any other area, road, lay-by, footway or forecourt to which the public have clear unobstructed access without payment; and
  • a service area as defined by s. 329 of the Highways Act 1980.

Street Trading Licences

Anyone who wishes to sell anything from a street so that members of the public can approach the unit/barrow/stall without having to pay to access the land it is sited on requires a licence before he/she can trade.

A street trading licence may not be needed, however, if you have a 'Pedlar's certificate' under the Pedlars Act 1871. A certificated pedlar is treated as a licensed 'hawker' for the purposes of the legislation affecting markets, and (in principle) may sell his goods at a market.

Markets: Most markets and fairs are now regulated under general legislation giving enabling powers to local authorities, or by local legislation relating to a particular market or fair.  A local authority may establish a market under the Food Act 1984. Some traditional markets in London are regulated under special Acts, including Billingsgate Market, Leadenhall Market and Spitalfields Market.

This is a street market or licensed street with several licensed pitches
Ice Cream Vans like this need Street Trading licences

Designated Licence Streets

Broadly speaking, a licence may only be granted for a pitch that is in a 'designated licence street'. The two exceptions are 'temporary licences' for no more than 6 months; and 'itinerant' ice cream vans that do not stay in any one place for more than 15 minutes. Whether or not to designate a street as a licence street is a matter for the local council. The consent of the Highways Authority is necessary.

If you would like more information about street trading licences and markets, telephone 020 7353 8415

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