Street Trading Licence

COVID-19 - Change in procedures: All application forms and supporting documents must be submitted via email to To arrange payment of the application fee please call customer services on 01923 776611

What is street trading?
In Three Rivers District a street trading consent is needed to offer or sell goods in a public place, on the highway, or within 7 metres of a highway (even on private land). So, for example, if you trade on a private forecourt in front of a shop and your trade is not the trade of the shop owner or does not form part of the business of the shop owner, you will need a licence.
  • The definition of 'street' includes: a road, footway, beach, an area where you can go without paying, such as village greens, parks, or private properties such as school playgrounds, churchyards and supermarket car parks or other car parks. If you charge a fee to enter a trading area, then this is not street trading. 

Almost every area/street in Three Rivers District requires consent to trade there. There are a few areas/streets in Three Rivers District where we have prohibited street trading entirely and any application for a Street Trading Licence for any of these streets will be refused. A list of the prohibited streets can be downloaded here: prohibited-and-consent-streets (pdf)

Trading in a consent street without our consent, or in a prohibited street, is a criminal offence, and if convicted you could be fined up to £1,000 per offence.

Street trading is regulated under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Applying for consent
To apply for street trading consent, please complete the below Street Trading licence application form and submit this to us by email.

Street Trading application form (docx)

This application form must be submitted along with the following:

  • A clear map of the site/location(s) if the proposed street activity is from a fixed position. The map should clearly identify the proposed
    site position.
  • A Basic Disclosure and Barring Service certificate for each applicant(s) and nominated persons (dated within the last 3 months)
  • A passport-sized photograph of applicant(s) and nominated persons
  • Proof of right to work for applicant(s) and nominated persons
  • 2 additional forms of identification for each applicant and nominated persons - at least one must show NI number and address
  • Copy of the Public Liability Insurance certificate
  • Food Safety/Hygiene certificates for all nominated persons if food is being sold/prepared
  • Colour photograph of the vehicle, stall, trolley, stand etc. 
  • If trading from vehicle – MOT certificate and valid insurance certificate (covering business use)
  • If proposing to trade on privately owned land - written permission from landowner
  • The fee - £220.50

On receipt of a valid application, we will consider your proposal, including the location at which you intend to trade and the goods you intend to sell.

We will also consult with local bodies who may be affected by your proposals, including the police, the highways authority, environmental health officers, and local town or parish councils. We have wide discretion in what we can take into account when considering applications for street trading consent, which may include crime or disorder in the vicinity, nuisance caused to nearby residents or businesses, obstruction of highways, and whether we have already granted consent for other traders in the same area. The consultation period is 28 days.

Generally, if we have concerns about your proposals, we will contact you first to discuss these and see if we can reach a solution. However, in some circumstances where a solution cannot be found, your application may be referred to our Licensing Sub-Committee, to be considered for possible refusal.

If we are satisfied that your application will not lead to any issues (and for renewal applications, that there have been no issues during your last consent period), then we will grant a consent. This will be subject to a number of conditions, restricting the locations and times at which you can trade, and other things you will be expected to do.

Consents will be issued for a maximum of 12 months.

You will need to apply to renew the consent before it expires, otherwise you will lose any rights associated with the previous consent.

If we receive complaints about traders, or witness them breaching the conditions of their consent, we may revoke consents, or amend the conditions, at any time.

Can I start trading before my application is determined?
No. It is in the public interest that we fully consider your application before you start to operate. If you have not heard from us within 30 working days of making your application, please contact us, using the contact details below.
Food businesses
If you intend to prepare and supply food or drinks as part of your business, you will also need to register as a food business. Please contact Environmental Health for advice. Please note that this service is carried out on our behalf by Watford Borough Council.
If you have a complaint about street trading, we would advise that you talk to the trader first to see if the issue can be resolved directly.
We will investigate complaints about unauthorised street trading, or traders who are operating in breach of their permissions. Please contact us using the details below.
Contact us

For more information on street trading, please email or call 01923 776611 and ask for Licensing.