Licences & Permits

by Martin

I have looked around this site with regards to permits / licences, as I'm seeking to purchase a small catering trailer in the future I contacted my local council with regards to what is required. My local council pointed me in the right direct with who I needed to contact, which I did, and received a lot of feedback, but from reading on here the councils seem to make it difficult.

So to that end I will briefly expand on what I got back from my local council which sounded pretty straight forward I have to say, basically they said I do not require any permit/licence as such to trade, I need to get all the certificates in order, i.e. gas cert/electric cert, my Food & Hygiene cert, yes I understand all that as I’m an ex chef with knowledge on most of this.

To trade between 2300hrs-0500hrs I would require a permit/licence, also the same applies if I would sell alcohol. I would have to inform the council 28 days prior to trading regarding my trailer in order for them to then visit to inspect (again I was aware of this) I then asked if I needed anything to trade in and around my local area, NO was the reply, all I had to do was inform the Highways agency/ authority, I then asked if they have a list of areas where I can and can't trade, they said not a list but streets in which you can't trade, and I could apply to trade when there was "special events" on and that it would cost me £40 a day to trade, which I thought was pretty ok. They then told me that I would have to inform the Highways agency/authority if I was to begin trading somewhere.

I had found, this is where I think the problem lies, now I have had no contact with them as yet, but my question is this, do they then set a rental price? Also is it still the same principle where you have to get in contact with the land owner etc etc etc...

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Mar 04, 2019
Burger van business
by: David-

Hi Stuart,

You can find out if you need a street trading licence It all depends on the requirements of the local council. This page also contains some links that may help you find a pitch.

Best of luck.

Dec 08, 2016
Starting up
by: Stuart

Hi i am concidering starting up with a mobile trailer or catering van.
What do i need to do in order to do this regarding permits and finding a good spot can i use it ?

Jan 15, 2015
by: David

Hi Martin,

If you find a pitch/land that is not owned by the council you will have to contact the landowner and seek written permission to trade. The rent for renting the land will between you and the landowner. Next, the landowner will have to contact the council and possible apply for a change of use.

The landowner may also have to apply for planning permission and it then goes through the planning department. This may be needed because the land has currently a different use. This can be the tricky part and where you may get past from pillar to post. You may also be liable for business rates now that it has a change of use. It’s great that your local council does not make you pay for a licence as some do charge £400+ per year for trading in their borough.

You find this post helpfulNon Domestic Rates Imposed on Van

Hope this help,

Best of luck


PS. Get my free BASIC guide on Starting a Mobile Catering Business Or for a more in-depth, comprehensive start consider trying the

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