Street trading licences

Street Trading

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If you want to carry out a ‘licensable activity’ on or within 7 meters of the public highway you will require a Street Trading licence. Licensable activity includes:

  • the sale, display or offering of goods or services for sale, this includes selling items for charity. 

  • the placing of tables and chairs on the highway

Under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended) anybody who sells items or services on, or within 7 meters of the public highway (usually a road or footpath) will require a Street Trading licence. This will include face painters and traders offering rides such as bouncy castles or carousels,  as well as food vendors and persons selling other goods including those selling items for charitable purposes. 

Street Trading in Kingston

Street trading has always formed part of the Borough’s history, with the Ancient Marketplace having been in use since around 1170. Thriving markets add to the diversity of shopping opportunities, and the character of the neighbourhoods in which they are located. Street trading provides valuable employment opportunities for local people and allows new small businesses and traders to test their business skills and ideas in an environment with relatively low start up costs and minimal overheads.

Given the popularity of street trading and the high number of enquiries we receive, the Council has recently approved a new Street Trading policy which creates more opportunities for traders across the Borough and will add to the diversity of shopping options available for visitors and those who live or work locally.

Before you apply, you should consider the following:

Parking and/or highways restrictions

The granting of a street trading licence does not permit road closures or suspension of parking bays. Applications for road closures and/or suspension of parking bays will need to be made separately to the Council’s Highways Department and will incur separate fees and charges. If you wish to trade from a pay and display bay, or a site with any other parking restrictions, you should contact the Council’s Highways Team before making any application for street trading permit.

Trading in parks and green spaces

If you are considering trading in one of Kingston’s parks or open spaces, you must first of all contact the Parks and Open Spaces team and obtain their approval. Please email and only submit an application for a street trading licence once you have obtained their permission to trade in the desired location.

Site suitability

Different sites will be suitable for different types of trading. For example, when seeking to trade in an area with high pedestrian footfall, a large vehicle may not be suitable, whereas a small coffee bike might be. 

When considering making an application for a street trading site, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Would trading ensure unobstructed access and suitable passing width for emergency vehicles?
  • Would trading cause an obstruction to existing street furniture or street scenery. For example bike racks, seats and benches, advertising hoardings or road signage?
  • Would trading leave sufficient space for pedestrians passing, particularly those using pushchairs and wheelchairs? (In heavy footfall areas you should leave a minimum of 2m, with 1.5m for passing required in lower footfall areas)
  • Is the site easily accessible, for example would you need to mount a kerb in a vehicle to access it, is it gated? 
  • The residential or commercial nature of the area. For example vehicles using loud generators or producing strong odours are likely to encourage complaints when trading for extended periods in close proximity to residential dwellings
  • Is there sufficient space for customers to safely queue without causing an obstruction?
  • All vehicles and stalls must be removed at the end of the trading day, do you have a safe route away from your pitch, bearing in mind any timed restrictions such as rising bollards?

Products/services offered

The Council will consider the suitability of the proposed street trading site in relation to the existing retail outlets (including existing street traders), with the aim of ensuring a balance is kept between encouraging new street trading and protecting the amenities of the neighbourhood. If you are seeking to obtain a licence to sell coffee and pastries for example, you should consider the availability and number of existing outlets in the vicinity of your desired pitch offering the same product range.

We currently offer the following street trading opportunities:

Permanent licences for a designated site

In October 2019, the Council designated a number of roads and areas within the Borough as appropriate for street trading. Applications for permanent trading can be made for any of the roads or areas listed within the designation. Applying for a licence in a designated location does not guarantee your licence will be granted, however it does mean you will not need to apply for designation yourself. If granted, these licences are initially issued for a period of one year. After that, you may apply for up to a three year licence should you wish to continue trading at that site.

Proof of public liability insurance cover (minimum £5m) must be provided as part of the application along with a site plan showing the location of the proposed stall and details of the stall or vehicle you will be trading from. Photographs of the equipment or pages from a catalogue are suitable.

Temporary licences for a designated site (from 2 days to 6 months)

Temporary licences of between 2 days and 6 months in duration are available to traders wishing to test a trading location prior to applying for a permanent pitch or can be used for short term trading. Only locations on the list of designated roads/areas can be considered.

Single Day trading licences

Single day licences can be used to test a trading space to determine whether street trading would be suitable at or successful at that location. They can also be used for one off events such as festivals where there are a relatively small number of traders or where organisers do not wish to apply for a speciality market licence.

Speciality Market licences

For events such as food festivals or street markets, organisers may wish to apply for a Speciality Market licence. A Speciality Market licence allows an organiser to apply for, and hold, a single licence to cover all trading at their event.

If granted, event organisers can bring in traders at any time up to the day of the event (staying within the maximum limit on number as applied for) and they retain control over who trades on the day. Stall holders do not need to make individual applications, and the organiser may find that this type of licence provides a cheaper option than individual licensing for the traders.

Depending on the type of event you are running, you are likely to need to submit details of your plan to the Council’s events team. More information as well as enquiry forms are available on the host an events page. 


Proof of public liability insurance cover (minimum £5m) must be provided as part of the application along with a site plan showing the location of the proposed stall(s) and details of the stalls or vehicles you will be trading from. Photographs of the equipment or pages from a catalogue are suitable. All licences are subject to compliance with the Council’s Standard Conditions for Street Trading. Please ensure that you would be able to comply with them fully before submitting any application.

Selling food

If any traders wish to sell raw/uncooked meat or fish, fruit, vegetables, deli food or prepared/cooked food of any kind, they & each of their assistants will be required to have a valid Food Hygiene Certificate at the appropriate level. They are also required to register their business with the Council where they prepare the food for sale.

There must be hand washing facilities provided with water at a suitable temperature, soap or detergent and means of drying hands. Where only low risk open foods such as biscuits, sweets, olives etc. are for sale and utensils are used for handling food, or where food is fully wrapped, a wash hand basin may not be required. In this instance it may be acceptable to provide and use antiseptic wipes/liquid and/or disposable gloves.

More information on food safety and registering as a food business, please refer to the running a food business page.

Selling alcohol

If you wish to sell alcohol, you will need a Temporary Event Notice in addition to any street trading licence.


Our application forms are all available on our application forms page. You must ensure that your application is submitted at least 10 working days in advance of the first sought trading day for speciality markets and single day trading licences. For permanent licences and temporary licences of 2 days to 6 months, your application must be submitted a minimum of 5 weeks in advance of your anticipated first day of trade.


All applications for Street Trading consent will be served on one or more Council departments (for example the Highways team) or partner authorities (for example the Police or Fire Brigade). These bodies, together with members of the public (in certain cases), can make comments on applications.As such, applying for a licence and providing all supporting documentation does not guarantee that your application will be successful.


Details of the fees payable in respect of all street trading licences are available on our fees page.

Road closures and/or parking bay suspensions

The granting of a street trading licence does not permit road closures or suspension of parking bays. Applications for road closures and/or suspension of parking bays will need to be made separately to the Council’s Highways Department and will incur separate fees and charges.

You can apply for parking suspensions online through the Parking suspensions and dispensations page.

You can apply for road closures online through the Apply to close a road page.

Current applications

Current applications in consultation are available to view here.

Last Modified: 26/07/2022 15:09:13


Address: Guildhall 2
High Street
Kingston upon Thames

Telephone: 0208 547 5080