If a business offers credit, lends money to consumers, or allows customers time to pay for goods and services, it must be licensed with the Consumer Credit Bureau of the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
The following types of business must be licensed with the Office of Fair Trading:
- consumer credit
- consumer hire
- debit adjusting and debt counselling
- debt collecting
- credit reference agencies
- canvassing credit off trade premises
The Office of Fair Trading holds a public record of all licensed traders and of all those who applied for a licence.
They can provide details to the public about licensed businesses, such as type of activities they cover, their authorised trading names and main business address.
To apply for a licence
A business must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer credit to consumers.
Apply for consumer credit authorisation on the FCA website.
For further information about offering credit to consumers, visit GOV.UK.