Street trading licence


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.

Apply online Click to get info

Please read the information in terms and conditions and the FAQ before submitting your application. 

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.

Eligibility criteria Click to get info

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

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.

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. Or please email the Street Trading Office stating what you wish to sell and to request an application pack. 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.

See Street Trading licensing conditions (46KB PDF file)

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 Click to get info

Casual Market Traders can apply for permanent status after trading regularly for one year.

Illegal street trading Click to get info

The erection of signs stalls for the sale of produce within the highway, including grass verges is illegal. See Illegal street trading.

House to house collection Click to get info

It is an offence to collect money, sell articles in public places and carry out collections (such as door-to-door or shop-to-shop) for a charitable purpose without first obtaining a permit to do so. This is regulated by the police.

Street collection Click to get info

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

Boot sales Click to get info

Waltham Forest do not issue licences for boot sales, however individual traders licences may be required.

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.

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.

Regulation summary Click to get info

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence can be found on the Office of Public Sector Information website.

Will tacit consent apply? Click to get info

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

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 Click to get info

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, 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:

Mondays 9:30am-4.30pm

Contact Click to get info

Street Trading

Walthamstow Library Plus High Street 
E17 7JN 
020 8496 3000