You will need a pedlar's certificate to sell door to door or in the street without a stall to avoid penalties. Check the eligibility requirements and how to get a pedlar's licence from the police.
WORKING AS A PEDLAR: As a rule, peddling means you would be selling 'easy to carry' goods while on the move (e.g. trinkets).
Most pedlars will be selling small, lightweight products because they will be moving from house to house or from place to place.
A special kind of police permit allows hawkers to sell their goods and their services from door to door (e.g. doorstep selling).
Once you get a pedlar's certificate you can use it to peddle (e.g. hawk or tout) anywhere in the United Kingdom. But, to qualify you must be trading on foot and be carrying your goods with you (e.g. using a small trolley).
Note: A pedlar's certificate is not required if you are visiting customers but do not sell goods to them. This type of selling on the move is sometimes referred to as door to door sales.
You may need to apply for a street trading licence in England and Wales if you trade in the street, such as from a pitch. Trading in the street in Scotland means you may need a street trader's licence instead.
In some cases, a pedlar's licence may already cover you to trade in the street if you are not using a stall. You can check with your local council authority for further clarification.
Eligibility for a pedlar's certificate is minimal. But, to apply to trade as a pedlar in the United Kingdom you must:
You would need to apply for a pedlar's licence from the chief of police at your local police station. A list of documents that you need to take includes:
Note: The current cost of a pedlar's certificate is £12.25 and it would last for one (1) year. But, having a pedlars certificate is not an indication that the goods sold are of merchantable quality.
Working as a pedlar without a valid certificate can result in a fine up to £200. You can also get fined for letting someone else use your permit.
As the applicant, you can also get a prison sentence up to six (6) months if (either):
If a person in authority (e.g. a police officer) asks to see your pedlar certificate you would need to produce it so they can inspect it.
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Note: You need to get a licence from your local council authority if you want to run a market stall as a trader.
As a rule, a market stall licence will contain certain restrictions. It might restrict when you can run the stall, the designated location for it, and the size of the enclosure.
Market stall licences last for varying amounts of time, so you would need to renew it. The local council determine how long it lasts. But, getting a permanent market stall licence would last longer than a casual or a temporary one.
Having a temporary or casual licence means you might not get a fixed spot for your particular market stall.
In most cases, market stall holders need to have been trading with a temporary or casual market licence before they can apply for the permanent permit. As a rule, you would get a fixed pitch if you have a permanent licence.
You would need to contact your local council to apply for a market stall licence. They issue temporary (also called casual) and permanent licences for people running market stalls.
Note: You may need to display licence in certain situations. For example, some regional councils will want to see your licence before they will allocate you a stall.
Failing to have a valid market stall licence means you could get prosecuted for illegal trading. If this happens, the council can seize your goods and you may also receive a fine.
How to Apply for a Pedlar's Certificate in United Kingdom