Market Operators' Licence

In terms of Section 40 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 market operators' require to be licensed. The market operators' 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: licensingservices@westlothian.gov.uk

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,
Livingston
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.

Which markets require a licence from the Council?

A market operator's licence is required where it is proposed to carry on a private market. The definition of private market is a market, whether covered or not, carried on by any person other than a local or public authority at which goods are be offered by more than one seller for sale by retail to the public.

This includes car boot sales and farmer's markets.

Which markets do not require a licence from the Council?

A market operator's licence shall not be required for carrying on either of the following:

  • functions held by charitable, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or similar organisations;
  • markets held only for the sale of livestock, fodder or grain.

How do you apply for a Market Operator's Licence?

How will my application be decided?

How do I make an objection or representation about a market operator's licence?

What standard conditions will be applied if my licence is granted?

How long will my licence be granted for?

What if I want to vary any of the standard conditions in relation to my licence?

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

List of current market operator licence holders and premises

How do you complain about market traders or operators?