Street Trader's Licence
In terms of section 39 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, street traders are required to be licensed. The 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@example.com
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
West Lothian Council,
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 Licensing 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.
A street trader's licence is required where a person, whether on his/her own account or as an employee, or business, proposes to engage in the activity of street trading. This means that every person involved in street trading requires to be licensed whether they are an employer or an employee. Businesses trading as companies or partnerships are required to ensure that each employee is licensed in his/her own right.
There are 4 different types of application form, please choose the one which applies to you -
1. Application for the grant or renewal of a street trader's licence - food (plate holder) (street trader form no 1) - this is for a person to licence a kiosk/stall/van selling food* and to trade from it, you will receive a licence plate for the vehicle when your licence is granted
2. Application for the grant or renewal of a street trader's licence non-food (plate holder) (street trader form no 2) - this is for a person to licence a kiosk/stall/van selling items other than food* or carrying out any type of service and to trade from it, you will receive a licence plate for the vehicle when your licence is granted
3. Application for the grant or renewal of a street trader's licence (non plate holder) (street trader form no3) - this is for a person trading from a kiosk/stall/van (which kiosk/stall/van already has a licence plate) selling any items or carrying out any type of service including wheel bin cleaning)
4. Application for the grant or renewal of street trader's licence - wheeled bin cleaner (street trader form no4) - this is for a person to licence a van cleaning bins and to trade from it, you will receive a licence plate for the vehicle when your licence is granted
*Food is very widely defined in the Food Safety Act 1990and includes all drinks including water and all items we think off as food including chewing gum.
Street trading means doing any of the following things in a public place -
(a) hawking, selling, or offering or exposing for sale any article;
(b) offering to carry out or carrying out for money or money's worth any service,
to any person in the public place and includes doing any of these things there in or from a vehicle or in or from a kiosk or moveable stall not entered in the valuation roll except where it is done in conjunction with or as part of a retail business being carried on in premises abutting the public place.
Therefore, a street trader's licence is not required by persons making pre-arranged deliveries where only goods which have been ordered by customers are delivered.
In the legislation public place is defined as any place (whether a street or not) to which the public have unrestricted access and includes:
- doorways or entrances of premises abutting on any such place; and
- any common passage, close, court, stair, garden or yard pertinent to any tenement or group of separately owned houses.
A street trader's licence is not required for:
- the sale of newspapers only;
- the sale of milk by or on behalf of a person registered under regulations under Section 19 of the Food Safety Act 1990;
- the sale of coal, coke or any solid fuel derived from coal or of which coal or coke is the constituent;
- any activity in respect of which a certificate under the Pedlar's Act 1871 has been granted; (A Pedlar is any person who travels and trades on foot, carrying to sell or exposing for sale any goods or procuring orders for goods immediately to be delivered or selling or offering for sale a skill in handicraft);
- any activity in respect of which a licence is required under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982, apart from Section 39 of that Act dealing with street trader's licences;
- organising or participating in a public charitable collection within the meaning of Section 119 (16) of the above Act in accordance with permission granted under that Section.
In terms of Section 42 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act, 1982, a late hours catering licence is required where mobile premises operated by street traders are to be used between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am for the sale to the public of food for consumption. Food is defined in terms of the Food Safety Act 1990 and has an extremely wide definition which covers all food and drink including water and chewing gum.
If you want to apply for a licence you must submit an application form along with the required documents and the appropriate fee.
Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them and a list of fees are available from the downloads section of this page. You should read the guidance notes carefully before completing your application form.
If you wish a temporary licence to allow you to operate at a particular event your application should preferably be made at least 3 months before the event to allow time for the application to be processed and applications must be received at least 35 days in advance of the date of the event.
All applications are copied to the Council's advisors. Applicants should note that mandatory background checks will be carried out by Police Scotland and applicants' details will be retained on computer. Applicants will be contacted once vetting is complete.
Applications which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination.
Conditions attached to street trader's licences can be found in the downloads section of this page.
Any member of the public can make an objection or representation about a street trader's licence application unless the application is for a temporary licence.
A guidance note explaining how an objection or representation can be made can be viewed here
Applications which do not attract any adverse comments/objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination. You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis.
We have nine months in which to determine your application however the majority of applications are determined within 60 days.
A street trader's licence is issued for a period of 1 year for both the grant or renewal of a licence. Alternatively if your application is for a temporary licence, the licence will be granted for the duration you requested and can be from one day and for no longer than six weeks.
You should notify us as soon as you can if your details change or any of the information given in your application becomes out of date due to a change in your circumstances.
If you no longer wish to hold your licence you can surrender it to the council at any time by returning your licence together with a letter stating that you wish to surrender it. If you surrender your licence it will cease to have effect.
Complaints regarding the conduct of street traders may be made to the Licensing Team. These should be made in writing by email or letter providing full details of the nature of the complaint including the date, time and location and sent to the Licensing Team using the contact details box.
Complaints regarding unlicensed street traders should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.