Street trading licence

You need a license to trade on the public highway, including the pavement or any other area (not within a permanently enclosed premises) that is within seven meters of any road or footway.

Street trading is the selling, offering or exposing for sale of any item or service in the street. This includes stalls, shop-front displays, cafe tables and chairs with service.

A licence will be granted if the site upholds the following licence objectives:

  • Preventing crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour
  • Avoiding public nuisance
  • Protecting public safety
  • Preventing obstruction of the highway
  • Complementing the location and hours of neighbouring business activity

If you're are a trader and want to apply for a street trading licence, please contact the Licensing Team on and request an application form. 

You can also contact the Licensing Team if you want to complain about a trader not complying.

Advertising "A" boards

If you are a current holder of a street trading licence, you can display an advertising board within your area at no extra charge. For all other traders the fee is £140 for a year.

All traders must have a licence granted before placing an advertising board on the public highway.

Who needs a street trading licence

A shopkeeper can trade on their private forecourt without a licence, but cannot let out the space to another trader, unless that trader has a licence. A licence is for the sole use of the person named. It specifies the location and position, commodities or service that may be sold, and the days and times that the licence holder may trade.

A licence holder is trading illegally if they have a time-expired licence, or on a day or at a time or place other than that stated in their licence.

Officers can issue warnings, seize goods with a view to permanent retention and disposal, and prosecute offenders under the powers granted by the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended).

Distance, clearance and barriers

To apply for a street trading licence there must be at least 2 meters clearance between the edge of the trading area and the curb (or any permanent obstruction ie street furniture). We allow removable barriers to be placed on the public highway to enclose a street trading area.

Hours of street trading

The earliest time that street trading can take place from is 7am and the  latest a street trading licence will be granted to is 11pm. After this time the public highway must be cleared of all street trading furniture. For more information on what is and is not allowed under a licence please see our standard conditions and current policy (PDF 281KB) for more information.

Types of street trading

Traditional street trading

These are for the traditional street trading pitches on the public highway, eg a pitch to sell fruit and vegetables or a burger van. Currently we have only a few such designated sites as these are all allocated. When they become available we will advertise them on this webpage. However, we do not foresee any becoming available in the near future.

Shop front displays/tables and chairs

We currently licence shop front displays and table and chairs on the public highway outside a premises. This display must be a continuation of the main business of the shop applying and not entirely different commodities.

Initially you will be issued with a licence that lasts for 6 months, which is granted following a consultation process with local ward councillors, Police and the Highways department.  Following the end of the six months, you will need to apply for a further 6 month licence.  If there have not been any issues with the licence, after the second period of 6 months has started you will then be given the opportunity to apply for a permanent licence, which lasts up to 3 years.

We changing the types of licences we authorise.  If you are looking to set up a catering van, for example, we ask that you send in a business proposal stating what you want to do, where you would be looking to trade from and how often you will be trading there, pictures of the area and type of vehicle you wish to trader from.  Once we have received the proposal, we will pass it through to management to make the decision as to whether a licence will be granted.

Proposals for Street Trading 

If you would like to set up a catering van/stall on the public highway, you would need to submit a business proposal (in writing to the address below) outlining exactly what you want to do.  The proposal must include details of the following:-

  • Photographs of the van/stall you will be trading from

  • Map/photo of the area you will be trading in

  • Details of how you will manage noise nuisance and rubbish collections

  • Public Liability insurance details and any other details you feel would support the application

  • Confirmation that you have obtained permission from the Highways department for a drop kerb to allow access for the vehicle

Once we have received the proposal, it will be passed to our enforcement officers who know the area to determine suitability.  If approved, it will then be passed to management for the final sign off after which we will send you an application form to complete to apply for a 6 month licence.

After the licence has been approved, the goods must be removed from the location daily

Licence fees

Permanent licence (up to 3 years)
£100 administrative fee due when submitting the application to the Licensing authority

£450 due once application has been deemed granted

Temporary licence (6 months)

£100 administrative fee due when submitting the application to the Licensing authority

£300 due once application has been deemed granted

2 months licence

£100 administrative fee due when submitting the application to the Licensing authority

£80 due once application has been deemed granted

‘A’ board licence 

£100 administrative fee due when submitting the application to the Licensing authority

£40 due once the application has been deemed granted

Street markets  

Permanent market £15 per trader per month

Occasional market 

Band 1: Less than 30 traders

  • £18 per trader per event (up to 7 days)
  • £15 per trader per event (1 day event)

Band 2: More than 30 traders

  • £12 per trader per event (up to 7 days)
  • £10 per trader per event (1 day event)

Casual temporary trader registration
(12 months validity) £28

Provisional trader registration
(6 weeks at same market, only 1 can be applied for per applicant) £10

Cost of demarcation
£20 per stud (likely to be approx. 6 studs per site)

Street trading licence application

We will need:

  • a passport sized photo of the applicant
  • a copy of your current public liability insurance
  • proof of your right to occur the premises you wish to trade outside, eg your lease

Please note you will only be permitted to have two consecutive temporary licences before you will be asked to apply for a permanent licence

Street markets

We currently licence street markets in the borough, these are occasional markets on the public highway.

In respect of new markets we require a 28-day consultation period to allow the public and  other authorities to consider and comment on the proposed market. The purpose of the consultation is to allow all parties to contribute to the agreement in principle that the market is safe to operate under the proposed conditions.

To determine this we require the applicant to submit the following documents at least 4 months prior to the proposed date of the first market:

  • an application form
  • a scale plan of the proposed market
  • a management plan
  • the fee.

Once the application is received it will be sent to the following parties for comments:

  • London Fire Service
  • London Ambulance Service
  • Police
  • Highways
  • Environmental Health
  • Health and Safety
  • Transport for London (if appropriate)

In addition notices will be displayed on all lamp posts and letters delivered to each shop trader in the area.

On conclusion of the consultation the licence can be agreed in principle and any additional conditions attached. Once the market is agreed in principle, the applicant must submit an application for each specific market at least 2 months prior to the proposed date.

Other street activities

Street collections

If you wish to undertake charitable street collections on the street you should contact the Metropolitan Police.

Street leaflets

If you wish to hand out leaflets on the street you may do so provided you do not cause an obstruction to the public highway and you do not cause a nuisance, eg in relation to littering.

Ice cream vans

Ice cream vans are exempt from needing a street trading licence provided you are trading from a vehicle which goes from place to place remaining in any one location in the course of trading for periods of 15 minutes or less and not returning to the same location or any other location in the same street on the same day.


Busking is neither licenced nor prohibited within the London Borough of Barnet. Therefore, you may busk on the public highway provided you do not cause a nuisance.

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