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Licenses for private markets

Last updated 23 December 2014

Street Trading is defined as the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article or the supplying or offering to supply any service in the street for gain or reward. This includes utilities such as gas, electric or telephones even if the sale is concluded elsewhere.

Street Trading licences are required before anyone can trade on the market or any other designated trading area in Waltham Forest.

A Street Trading licence may also be required if you are trading on private land such as a forecourt of a shop premise or wish to place tables and chairs on the highway outside of your premises. To confirm if a licence is required you are advised to contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the street trading team. The landowner may need planning permission and you are advised to contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the Planning Office.

See Street Trading licensing conditions (46KB PDF file)

Any person who wishes to sell items from a trailer or stall in a street that has not been designated must first apply for such designation from the Council and, if the designation is approved, must then apply for a Street Trading Licence.

Food traders must also be registered with their local Environmental Health office.

You do not need a Street Trading licence if you are:

  • Trading as a pedlar under licence issued by a Police Authority and are going from house to house
  • A news vendor selling only newspapers and periodicals from a stall that does not exceed 1m in length or width or 2 metres in height

Trader information

Currently only casual trader licences are being issued to trade in the market and you should contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the Street Trading Team if you are interested in obtaining such a licence. Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee that a casual trading licence will be allocated to you. This will be dependent on availability of trading sites and the commodity you wish to sell.

There is a non-refundable application fee of £35.50 plus a further charge for registration as a street trader.

The market operates a clashing policy that prevents the same item being sold within five trading sites. Traders are therefore asked to bear in mind that it will be more difficult to allocate licences for the more popular commodities, such as clothing, than for others.

You may also be required to provide four photographs of yourself and proof of identify.

Current Casual Trading charges

Eligibility criteria

You must comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

The Council may refuse a licence if any of the following grounds exist:

  • You are under the age of 17
  • You are unsuitable to hold a licence on account of misconduct or for other reasons
  • You have previously failed to pay fees due under another street trading licence or have failed to use a previous street trading licence
  • That there are sufficient traders trading in the street in respect of the type of goods you want to sell
  • That the applicant has failed to identify suitable storage space for any receptacle or perishable goods when street trading is not taking place

Regulation summary

See a summary of the regulation relating to this licence on the Office of Public Sector Information website.

Application evaluation process

Under certain circumstances if certain grounds for refusal exist we may still award a licence but for fewer days than you require, or to allow trade in certain items.

Applications will normally be considered and a decision made within 4 weeks of receipt but those applications that are contentious may need to be referred to an officer panel for consideration and this will delay any decision on the issuing of a licence.

You will also need to provide evidence that you have Public Liability Insurance to the value of £5 million and that your business is registered with your local council if you wish to sell food.

Applications will not be considered without this evidence. All details on the application are checked.

Your application details are circulated to:

  • The Council's Legal Department
  • Local councillors
  • The Police
  • Trading Standards
  • Food Safety
  • The Highways Authority for major roads

Local residents and businesses who may be affected by your application may also be consulted before any Street Trading Licence may be granted.

A licence may not be granted when adverse comments are received from the consulted parties.

A licence will not be granted where there is a risk to road safety or possibility of a nuisance being created.

The Council may revoke a street trading licence after it has been granted. This may be for a variety of reasons such as: non compliance with conditions, non payment or because other agencies such as highways department require access to the trading location. You will be given at least 10 days notice if your consent is revoked.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Waltham Forest Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 20 working days contact us online if you applied through the UK welcome business website or use the contact details below:

Phone 020 8496 3000


Street Trading licenses fees for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 inclusive as determined under Section 32(1) of the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended)

The fees are calculated with the objective of covering the costs of administration, enforcement, waste management and cleansing activities associated with the street trading function.

Apply online

Please read the trader information above before submitting an application

Failed licence application/revocation redress

Please contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the street trading team in the first instance.

If your application is refused or licence revoked you may discuss the application with the appropriate Council officers.

If you wish to appeal a decision of the council you may appeal to the local Magistrates' court within 21 days in accordance with S.30 London Local Authorities Acts 1990 to 2007.

You may appeal the decision of a Magistrates' Court to the local Crown Court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Directgov gives advice on your consumer rights. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you require any further information please contact:

Street Trading Section
Tel 020 8496 3000

You are also welcome to call in and the office opening hours are as follows:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30am-1pm

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