Street trading

Street trading is the selling, offering or exposing for sale of any item or service in the street. This includes stalls, shop-front displays, and cafe tables and chairs with service.

A licence is required to trade on any of the following that is within seven metres of any road or footway:

  • the public highway
  • pavement
  • any other area (not within a permanently enclosed premises)

Licence holder

A licence is for the sole use of the person named on the licence. It specifies the location and position, commodities or service that may be sold, and the days and times that the licence holder may trade.

A licence holder who trades with a time-expired licence, on a day, time or place other than that stated in his licence, is trading illegally.


A shopkeeper can trade on his or her own private forecourt without a licence, but cannot let out the space to another trader, unless that person has a licence.

Types of street traders

Street trading licences are issued on a discretionary basis. The success of the application depends on a number of factors, such as the proposed geographical location and existing footway widths.

Planning Permission and Highways Consent are issued under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended), and are renewable on an annual basis.

The types of street trading we authorise are listed below:

Traditional street trading

These are for the traditional street trading pitches on the public highway, e.g. a pitch to sell fruit and vegetables or a burger van.

Currently we have only a few such designated sites as these are all allocated. If and when they become available we will advertise them on this web page.

Shop front displays/tables and chairs

We currently licence shop front displays and table and chairs on the public highway outside a premises.

This display must be a continuation of the main business of the shop and not different commodities. We require at least 2.5 metres of clear footpath to allow street trading outside a shop. 

We will also consider the potential nuisance a licence may cause.

Illegal traders

If you suspect that unlicensed street trading is taking place, please provide us with:

  • where and when it happened
  • a description of the trader
  • the goods they were selling

Community and public protection