There is no general license required to run a business in the UK and in most cases, you can trade without one, provided you’re properly set up with HMRC and have registered a legal trading structure for your business (such as a limited company, or sole trader). Licensing

However, there are a wide range of business activities that do require a licence in the UK. This includes:

  • Selling Alcohol
  • Street Trading
  • Holding an event
  • Taxi companies
  • Operating a food business
  • Operating a hotel or B&B
  • Pet shops, zoos, or other examples where animal welfare is relevant
  • Childminding and nursery businesses
  • Scrap Dealing
  • Gambling businesses
  • Carrying out certain Financial activities
  • Playing recorded music in public, for example, in a shop

Different licenses may be issued by a variety of authorities, including District and County Councils, and other Government authorities.



If you are unsure of the licensing requirements for your business, as a next step, we recommend visit the Council’s licensing pages for further advice:

South Oxfordshire

Vale of White Horse

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