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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.

If you are granted street trading consent, it will allow you to trade at a specific location, at specific times of day. We are not issuing any further consents for 2020 to 2021. All consents for this year are due to expire on 31 March 2020.

An application window of 6 weeks is open from 19 December 2020 for consents for 2021 to 2022 to commence at the earliest from 1 April 2021. Any applications will be considered under the new Street Trading Policy 2020. From 1 April 2021 we will be issuing new annual and occasional consents.

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 conditions of your consent, or don’t pay your street trading fees, your trading consent may be revoked and further enforcement action may be taken.

Goods outside a shop

Goods outside a shop, on pavements or 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 forecourt outside his shop.

If the pavement or forecourt is used to sell goods that are not within the planning category of business premises, this is street trading and you must apply for a street trading consent.

Trading from the pavement outside a shop is not permitted by Birmingham City Council. Remember that setting up a stall (whether selling something or not) may be considered as a nuisance or an obstruction of the highway and you may be required to remove the structure by the Highways Authority or the police.

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. Only food businesses with a food hygiene rating of 4 or 5 will be considered as appropriate to hold a street trading consent.

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 (whether selling something or not) may be considered as a nuisance or an obstruction of the highway and you may be required to remove the structure by the Highways Authority or the police.

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