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Street trading licence

Information and guidance about street trading and Pedlar certificates.

The erection of signs or stalls for the sale of produce within the highway, including grass verges, is illegal subject to the exceptions mentioned below. However, produce can be sold from the land on which it is grown, but signs advertising such facilities must be clear of the highway and may require planning permission. Any unlawful use of the highway for tables and chairs is an obstruction and may be dealt with by the police.

Trading as a news vendor or delivery rounds man, trading on premises used as a petrol filling station, or trading at premises used as a shop is not street trading.


A pedlar is someone who travels and trades on foot, going from town to town or house to house selling goods or offering their skills in handicrafts and selling such things as pictures, dusters and household goods. A pedlar must hold a certificate granted by a chief constable. The certificate is valid for one year and applies throughout the United Kingdom. Certificates cannot be issued to people under the age of 17 or for the sale of food items.

To apply for a Pedlars certificate (opens in a new window), contact your local police station. Someone who acts as a pedlar without a certificate commits an offence.

A person legitimately trading under a pedlar's certificate from the police may also trade in a street on a limited basis, provided they abide by the following rules:

  • A pedlar is a pedestrian

  • A pedlar trades whilst travelling rather than travelling to trade

  • A pedlar goes to customers rather than allowing them to come to the pedlar

  • A pedlar is a seller rather than a mender

  • A pedlar must not remain stationary for long periods of time

  • A pedlar must not set up a stall and wait for people to approach

The different authorities in the partnership have different policies on street trading and pedlars. For more detailed information contact your local borough or district council.

Please note street trading licences are not issued in North Dorset.

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