Business License Application in the United Kingdom

A quick read on the essentials of the business licence application in the UK from 3E Accounting.

Starting a business in the United Kingdom requires a fair bit of legwork, especially in ensuring compliance with regulations. Your business needs registration, a unique company name, premises to operate from, and directors and company secretaries to run the business. Further, you’ll have to register for taxes and determine your financial year-end. With all the fuss, it’s quite likely that you may overlook a crucial matter which is business licence application in the UK.

Our team of specialists are on hand to assist with all your business needs, from company incorporation to licencing and permits.


Licenced to Do Business

In the UK, a business license is industry-specific, and it’s best to ensure you are appropriately licensed before setting up shop. Running your business without a licence or breaching the rules of your licence could have serious repercussions.

Any breaches, irrelevant of whether they were done accidentally or negligently, can result in some pretty stiff fines. In some instances, you may even lose your licence and be precluded from reapplying for it. More serious breaches can result in criminal convictions as well.

Some of the more popular industries include:

  • Trade or Service Business: such as electricians, IT, real estate, etc.
  • Retail Business: such as supermarkets, clothing retailers, greengrocers, etc.
  • Professional Businesses: such as the legal profession, accountants, etc.
  • F & B Business: such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, pop-ups, etc.

Licencing for each industry will be different and will also depend on whether you are in England and Wales, or Scotland. The starting point will be permitted from the local council or borough. Some types of business will need registration with the Care Quality Commission – different bodies govern registration for Wales and Scotland.

Professional businesses have their own regulatory bodies that issue permits and authorisations to carry out regulated activities. For example, accountants will need approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and register as an auditor to perform audits.

Other licences that will need to be looked into include:

  • Premises licence to carry out your business, including serving alcoholic beverages. It’s best also to have a personal licence to sell alcohol if you plan to sell alcoholic drinks.
  • Licence to distribute leaflets to give out free prints.
  • Pavement or street display licence for any signs advertising your business that may occupy space on the road or sidewalk.
  • Food business registration and food premises approval for businesses in the food and beverage sector.
  • Goods vehicle operator licence for the transportation of goods.
  • Public surveillance licence in order to use CCTV for recording. This licence is issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
  • TV or music licence if you plan to have a telly in your place of business or blast some music.

The UK Government website has a Licence Finder portal that enables a search for all the possible types of licences that a business might require. Your local authority can also help with queries. For more expert services including business licence application in the UK, Contact 3E Accounting today. Our team of specialists are on hand to assist with all your business needs, from company incorporation to licencing and permits.

Business Licence Application in the UK