What is street trading?

You must have street trading consent if you are selling, offering to sell, or displaying items for sale, anything in a street or any other public area.

A public area is somewhere the general public can access without paying. Even if the land is privately owned, if people can access it without paying, you must apply for street trading consent.

There is a fee for street trading consent.

If you are granted street trading consent, it will allow you to trade at a specific location, at specific times of day. Consent is normally granted for 6 or 12 months. Consent will normally be automatically renewed if there have been no issues. Consent can’t be transferred to anyone else.

You must always be able to show your current consent form if asked by the police, an authorised council officer, or a representative of another statutory body.

If you don’t follow the restrictions of your consent, or don’t pay your street trading fees, your trading consent will be withdrawn and you may be prosecuted.

Goods outside a shop

Goods outside a shop, on pavements and forecourts, are not classed as street trading if the goods for sale outside the shop are:

  • being sold by the same trader as the goods inside the shop, and
  • the same as the goods for sale inside the shop. For example, a greengrocer could sell fruit on the pavement outside his shop.

If the pavement or forecourt is sub-let to someone else or used to sell goods different to those inside the shop, this is street trading and you must apply for a license.

Food street traders

If you want to sell food on the street or in a public place, you must register with Environmental Health and apply for street trading consent.

Exposing items for sale

Exposing items for sale requires street trading consent. Examples of exposing items for sale include a glazing firm taking orders or a car breakdown company signing up members.

Political organisations and charities

If your political organisation or charity is giving out literature, it will not need consent. If it is selling goods, it will need consent. Remember that setting up a stall may be considered as an obstruction by the police.

Suitcase salesmen

Suitcase salesmen or “itinerant traders” carry their goods with them so they can move between pitches.

Itinerant trading is not allowed in Birmingham and street trading consent won’t be granted.