Knife Dealer Licence

In terms of Section 27A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982 knife dealers require to hold licences from their local authority. This licensing scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team.

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.

If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address:

Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.

In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the

Licensing Team,
West Lothian Council,
Civic Centre,
EH54 6FF

along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation. 

If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.

Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions at present. 

If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.   

The Team are able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence.

Do you need a licence? 

A knife dealer's licence is required for carrying on a business as a dealer in:-

  • knives (other than folding pocket knives whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91 centimetres) in length or knives designed for domestic use;
  • daggers (other than kirpans or skean dhus whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91 centimetres) in length;
  • knife blades (other than those designed for domestic use);
  • swords
  • any other article -
    • (a)  which has a blade; or
    • (b)  which is sharply pointed
    • and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person.

What is the definition of a "dealer"?

In terms of Section 27A(4) of the said Act dealer means a person carrying on a business which consists wholly or partly of -

  • (a)  selling;
  • (b)  hiring;
  • (c)  offering for sale or hire;
  • (d)  exposing for sale or hire;
  • (e)  lending; or
  • (f)   giving,

to persons not acting in the course of a business or profession any article mentioned above (whether or not the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) are carried out incidentally to a business which would not, apart from the provisions of  Section 27A of the said Act, require a knife dealer's licence)

What is the definition of selling?

"selling", in relation to an article mentioned above

  • (a)  includes
    • (i) selling such an article by auction;
    • (ii) accepting goods or services in payment (whether in part or in full) for such an article; but
  • (b) does not include selling (by auction or otherwise) such an article by one person on behalf of another;

and "sale" is to construed accordingly

  • For the purposes of Section 27(4), an article is not to be treated as being exposed for sale if it is exposed for sale (by auction or otherwise) by a person other than the owner.

How do you apply for a licence?

How do I make an objection or representation about a knife dealer's licence application?

How will my application be decided?

What if my details change or I no longer wish to hold my licence?

How do you complain about Knife Dealers?

How much are the application and renewal fees?

Where can I get an application form?