Maia Walsh from the sales team at EC1 Echo publisher Social Spider Community News explains all about business licences
What is a business licence?
A business licence is any kind of licence or permit a business is required to have by law, as stated by their government, in order to conduct certain trade activities. In the UK local authorities are in charge of issuing licences. They give businesses permission to do things like sell alcohol, play recorded music, allow gambling and stay open until late at night.
Who needs a business licence?
It’s always a good idea to check if your business needs a business licence. Conveniently, the UK government website has a licence finder to check this! Just go to gov.uk/licence-finder and enter the relevant details. Businesses under certain categories will need a business licence; these include selling alcohol, certain financial activities (such as lending money), playing recorded music in public, running a business for HGV driver training or driving instructors and processing customer data. Licences are not required for all businesses, but you should make sure to check.
How to apply for a business licence
The specific application process depends on the licence you are applying for. Most commonly, you will need to apply through your local council using their website or by contacting them directly. We would advise you to use the UK government licence finder, which will give you specific directions on the best place to find and apply for your licence. Go through the application steps on your local council website (or the website you have been directed to) and you will be able to apply for your licence.
How to advertise your licence
A lot of licence application processes ask you to advertise your licence in your local newspaper. This will just be publishing the text contained in your licence as a small advertisement. Some local newspapers now only publish online or monthly in print but, luckily, some councils now allow businesses to publish your licence notice via email newsletters. If you are hoping to do this, then always double check that your council will accept it in your case. Be careful to arrange your licence to be published quickly, as you usually have a time limit of only ten days to have your advert published!
Promoting your business licence with us
Here’s the good news: you can publish your licence notices with us! We have local print publications in EC1, Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Newham, and an online publication in Barnet, all of which accept licence adverts. They are printed at the end of each month. You can also advertise licence notices in our weekly email newsletters for Enfield and Haringey (but do double check that this is accepted in your case). Give our advertising team a call to hear about this month’s deadlines.