Street Trading

Street Trading Licences

Please Note: due to the complex considerations involved in allowing street trading (e.g. traffic flow, pedestrians, established businesses and environmental factors) applications outside the already recognised areas (such as markets) are often refused. We therefore recommend following the enquiry procedure below before any investment is made in equipment or stock.

Street Trading is defined as the act of selling any article, or product, from the public highway. An offer to sell, such as a 'For Sale' notice displayed on the windscreen of a car, does not necessarily constitute street trading.

Woking Borough Council has adopted the provisions of Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. This gives a Borough Council (District) the power to determine whether trading can or can not occur in certain areas or streets.

A district council may by resolution designate any street in their district as:
(a) a prohibited street
(b) a licence street
(c) a consent street.

From LG(MP) 1982 consent street means a street in which street trading is prohibited without the consent of the district council; licence street means a street in which street trading is prohibited without a licence granted by the district council; and prohibited street means a street in which street trading is prohibited.

In general, it is the policy of Woking Borough Council to discourage street trading, other than that confined within well regulated and administered street markets.

Woking Borough Council has determined that all streets within its borders are consent streets and therefore trading is prohibited without the express written consent of Woking Borough Council via the Neighbourhood Services Manager or Licensing Committee.

Where the position of the business is to occupy and/or use any land designated Private, the business must obtain the permission of the land owner or managing agents.

Where the position of the business is to occupy and/or use any land designated Surrey County Council highway, the business must also obtain the permission and or licence from Surrey County Council.

All food traders must also be registered with our Environmental Health Officers.

If you undertake street trading without obtaining consent you can be prosecuted. The current fine upon conviction is 5,000.

In order to enquire about a street traders licence, please contact us with the following information:

  • Nature of business. (ie. Food/drink vendor, retailer, amusement or entertainment, 3rd party sales e.g. Utilities/phone/other, or any other similar with description if necessary.)
  • Street name and location you wish to trade from. (ideally enclose a grid reference or map showing location as a minimum) Please do not be vague eg Any Town Centre or High Street.
  • Days and Times you wish to trade from.

Once you have decided when and where you wish to trade, send us an email or write to us c/o The Licencing Department at Woking Borough Council. We will then be able to advise whether or not the location you have chosen forms part of a Prohibited Street and provide advice on your application.

Pedlars Certificates

Please note that a Pedlars Certificate and a Street Trading Licence are very different. Pedlars Certificates for the area are currently dealt with by Surrey Police.

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.

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 person who acts without a pedlar's certificate commits an offence. A pedlars certificate does not entitle you to undertake Street-trading activities.

For further information or to enquire about a Pedlars Certificate, please follow this link to the Surrey Police Policy and Procedure Website.