Q239: What is a pedlars certificate and how do I get one?
A pedlars certificate is a certificate that allows a person to trade (often selling trinkets, household goods and other hand made objects) whilst on foot. Pedlars can travel from:
- door to door
- place to place, or
- town to town.
It is the means by which a pedlar trades that distinguishes a pedlar from a licensed street trader. The means of a pedlar are mobile, whereas the means of a street trader are static i.e. they have a fixed stall.
A pedlars certificate once issued can be used anywhere in the United Kingdom. The "pedlar" cannot set up a fixed pitch from which to trade, but rather moves around acquiring custom. If you do want to set up trade in a particular location, such as a market place, and remain static, you would require a street trader's licence which you obtain from your local council.
A pedlar may sell foodstuffs, however, depending upon the nature of the food being sold, they may be required to register with their local Environmental Health Department.
A pedlar wishing only to sell food and drink may not require a pedlars certificate, they should, however, contact their local Environmental Health Department to enquire about the necessity to register their business.
Regional variation: Some local authorities have obtained private Acts of Parliament which prohibit pedlars from trading on 'designated streets'. In areas where such restrictions are in force a pedlar can only trade door to door and cannot sell direct to customers in the street. You should contact your local authority to enquire about any local restrictions. Please see the link in Related Information to find your local authority.
Please be aware that trading door to door without a pedlars certificate, is an offence.
A pedlars certificate is obtained from the chief of police from the area where you live. You need to attend at your local police station with:
- 2 photos of you
- a form of identity, eg a passport or driving licence
- proof of your address
- details of a referee
You must be 17 or over to apply for a pedlars licence and must have lived for at least 28 days within the district you are applying.
It would be advisable to contact your local police before attending as there may be slight differences in this process from force to force.
The police need this information to check your identity and that you are of good character before issuing a certificate. The cost of the licence is currently £12.25 and lasts 1 year.
Please note that having a pedlars certificate is in no way an indication that the goods for sale are of merchantable quality.
More detailed information regarding pedlary issues is available via the website in 'Related Information'.