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Street trading consents and licences

If you want to trade in particular streets in County Durham, including in a street market, you may need a street trading licence or consent from us.

There are three different classes of street/road:

  • consent streets: where trading is allowed with a Street Trading Consent 
  • licensed streets: where trading is allowed with a Street Trading Licence
  • prohibited streets: where trading is not allowed at all eg main roads, areas near shopping centres

Trading on our land

If you want to trade on any of our land (excluding roads and pavements), you will need to provide us with written permission from our Corporate Land and Property team. We can not approve the application without this. You can check if the land is ours and contact them on our Council owned land and buildings page.

If we do not own the land, you must get permission to use the land from the owner. A street trading consent or licence allows street trading activity - it does not give any land ownership or occupancy rights.

Where you can trade

Who can apply

You must be over 17 years of age to hold a licence.

Licences will be refused if:

  • there is not enough space in the street you wish to trade in without causing interference or inconvenience to street users 
  • you wish to trade for less days than any minimum required trading days 
  • you are unsuitable to hold a licence due to any previous convictions or for other reasons 
  • you have failed to pay fees for, or use, a previous street trading licence


Fees for a licence or consent

Street trader licence or consent (excluding designated market days)

Application fee

Charge upon grant


One day licence/consent (one day)




One week licence/consent (two to seven days)




One month licence/consent (eight days to a calendar month)




One year licence/consent (annual licence/consent)




Fees for a non-established market licence or consent

Non-established market licence or consent

Fee per day

Up to 10 traders


Between 11 and 30 traders


Between 31 and 50 traders


Between 51 and 70 traders


Over 71 traders


Changing a licence

If you want to change your existing street trading licence, you will be charged a £45 administration fee. We will keep this fee if your licence is refused.

Applying for or renewing a licence

If you do not renew your licence before it expires, you may not trade until you receive your new licence.

What we do with your application

If the form is fully completed, we will deal with it within 30 working days. We will:

  • approve it
  • approve it with changes (eg restrict days or items traded, state when in a street you can trade)
  • refuse it

We reserve the right to refuse or change the conditions of a licence when it is renewed.

If you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion date, you have the legal right to act as though we have granted your licence. This is known as 'tacit consent'. We aim to acknowledge your application within five working days of receipt. Please contact us if you have not received acknowledgement within 10 working days.

What to do if we refuse your application

If we refuse your application, we will say why we have done so, and say what your rights are. Contact us if you have any issues.

Consumer complaint

If you have a complaint about a street trader we would always suggest that you discuss it with the trader concerned in the first instance. Where this has failed or is an inappropriate step, please either Contact Licensing or  Citizens Advice Consumer Service. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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