Street trading is 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 like gas, electric or telephones even if the sale is concluded elsewhere.

To trade on the market, or any other designated trading area in Waltham Forest, you must have a street trading licence.

Apply online

Please read the information in the terms and conditions and the FAQs before applying. 

If you want to sell items from a trailer or stall in a street, you must apply to us for a designation first. Once designated, you can then apply for a street trading licence.

Eligibility criteria

You must comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

We may refuse a licence on any of the following grounds:

  • 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
  • There are already sufficient traders selling the same type of goods on the street

We normally make a decision within four weeks of getting your application. However, we may refer contentious applications to an officer panel for consideration. This will delay any decision on whether to issue a licence.

You'll also need to provide evidence that you have Public Liability Insurance to the value of £5m and that your business is registered with us if you wish to sell food.

We will not consider applications without this evidence. All details on the application are checked.

Trading on Walthamstow Market

We currently only issue casual trader licences to trade. Please call us on 020 8496 3000 and ask for our Street Trading Team if you're interested in getting such a licence. Alternatively, you can email our Street Trading Office stating what you wish to sell and ask for an application pack. Please note submitting an application does not guarantee that you will be allocated a casual trading licence. This will depend on the availability of trading sites and what you wish to sell.

There is a non-refundable application fee of £42.80 plus a further charge to register as a street trader.

The market operates a clashing policy to stop the same item from being sold within five trading sites. We, therefore, ask traders to bear in mind that it will be harder to allocate licences for more popular items, such as clothing, than for others.

See Street Trading licensing conditions (PDF)

Food traders must also register 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 2m in height

Trader information

Casual market traders can apply for permanent status after trading regularly for one year.

Illegal street trading

It is illegal to put up signs and stalls for the sale of produce within the highway, including grass verges. See Illegal street trading.

House to house collection

You must have a permit to collect money, sell articles in public places and carry out collections (like door-to-door or shop-to-shop) for a charitable purpose. If not, this is against the law and is regulated by the police.

Street collection

It is illegal to hold a street collection to collect money or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes without getting a street collection licence from the police.

Boot sales

We do not issue licences for car boot sales. However, individual trader licences may be required.

Application evaluation process

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.

We share your application details with:

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

We may also consult local residents and businesses who may be affected by your application before granting any street trading licence.

We may not grant a licence if we receive negative comments from the consulted parties.

We will not grant a licence where there is a risk to road safety or the possibility of a nuisance being created.

We may also revoke a street trading licence after it has been granted. This could 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.

Regulation summary

See a summary of street trading licence regulations on the Office of Public Sector Information website.

Will tacit consent apply?

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

Failed licence application/revocation redress

If your application is refused or licence revoked and you wish to discuss the matter please contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the street trading team.

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

If you wish to make a complaint you should contact the trader directly - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that doesn't work, if you're in the UK, gives advice on your consumer rights. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you need further information, please contact:

Street Trading Section


Walthamstow Library Plus High Street 

E17 7JN