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Street Trading

This page provides information for people who wish to sell goods or set up catering pitches from mobile sites within the Birmingham boundary, including how to apply for a Street Trading Consent

Consultation Process and Guidance Notes

Birmingham City Council strictly controls traders who wish to sell goods from mobile units sited on the public highway within the Birmingham boundary.

Birmingham City Council does not identify sites normally, these are left to the discretion of the individual. However, guidance on the likely outcome can be given where previous applications for a site have been received. A fuller explanation of the consultation process that an application follows is set out below.

Birmingham City Council is not currently accepting applications for street trading consents for any City Centre or Football Club sites as these have reached saturation point. If sites do become available, for example if the existing trader ceases business, these are advertised in the Business Opportunities section of the local paper (Birmingham Mail).

There is no list kept of enquiries from prospective traders looking for any available sites within the Birmingham area.

Consultation Process For Street Trading Applications

  1. Copy of all applications are sent to City Transportation, The Director of Public Health, West Midlands Police and where relevant, City Centre Managers Office, for comment, unless a previous application had been made for the same position had been rejected. Should an objection be received from any of these consultative bodies, the application will be rejected, and the applicant advised by letter.

  2. If no objections are raised, a public notice giving details of the application (does not include name and address) will be posted on street furniture adjacent to the site applied for. This notice will be in place for a minimum of 21 days in order to allow local traders or public to object or comment upon the application.

  3. Following the posting of the site, a report, which will include any comments or objections, will be prepared and presented for consideration and comment at the next available relevant Ward Sub-Committee meeting.

  4. Once an application has been to the Ward Sub-Committee/District Committee, a resolution will be sent to the Head of Service (Markets) and the decision to grant or deny a Street Trading Consent will be made.

  5. In respect of Point 1, should an application be rejected, the applicant will be advised as to the reasons for the rejections and which of the consultative bodies raised the objection, should they wish further clarification.

Guidance Notes on the Issue of Street Trading Consents

  1. Consents are issued for specific locations and applicants must put forward the precise details of where they wish to trade.

  2. It is unlikely that consents will be issued for main thoroughfares on the roadway or at places where they are likely to cause obstruction or congestion, such as near to schools. Neither are consents issued in areas which are the subject of parking restrictions of any sort, including official Local Authority Car Parks.

  3. Goods outside a shop, on pavements and forecourts, as long as they form part of the main business; i.e. the same commodities and same trader as inside the shop, are not street trading.

  4. Sub-letting of a pavement or forecourt for a different purpose, e.g. fruit and veg outside a dress shop, or to a third party even for the same purpose, is street trading.

  5. Food hawkers are required to register with Environmental Health but any Certificate of Registration (Licence) issued does not entitle them to trade in a ‘consent street' without a Street Trading Consent.

  6. Exposing for sale is the same as selling and taking orders by glazing firms, etc. or signing members by RAC, does require consent.

  7. Political organisations and charities distributing literature do not need consent, but if they sell goods they do. Setting up a stall may be considered as an obstruction by the Police.

  8. Traders in lay-bys, car parks, on open ground, recreation grounds, etc. with open access to the Street at no charge to the public do need consents. There may be exceptions for concessionaires of other Departments of the City but applications are necessary.

  9. Suitcase salesmen and similar itinerant traders will not be issued with consents.

Street Trading application form additional information

Fully completed application forms should be sent to:-
Street Trading
Markets Service
Birmingham City Council
Manor House
40 Moat Lane
B5 5BD.

In addition to this, applications to trade from private land will require both of the following:

  • the land owners permission to trade, in writing.
  • planning Approval to trade from the location.

For further details please call Planning on 0121 303 3157

Street Trading Contact Details and Application

Telephone No: 0121 303 0254 or 0121 464 8349