Business rules



There are a number of rules you may need to follow when trading

You may have other responsibilities depending on what your business does. Check if you need: licences or permits, for example to play music, sell food or to trade in the street. There are also rules you must follow if you: sell goods online, buy goods from abroad or sell goods abroad or store or use personal information

Check if you need licences or permits.

What type of licence do I need?

Food premises approval

If your business involves handling meat, fish, egg or dairy products, you must be inspected and may require approval by your local council.

The council will decide if you get approval or need to register.

What type of food premises approval do I need?

Street trading licence (England and Wales)

Contact the council to find out if you need a licence to trade in the street in England and Wales.

You might not need a street trading licence if you have a pedlar’s certificate - contact the council to find out.

If you trade without a licence, you can be fined up to £1,000

What type of street trading licence do I need?

Alcohol licensing

Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol in England and Wales must have a licence or other authorisation from a licensing authority - usually a local council. The law and policy governing this area is overseen by the Home Office.

The types of businesses and organisations that need alcohol licences might include:

  • pubs and bars
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • nightclubs
  • late-opening cafes
  • takeaways
  • village and community halls
  • supermarkets

Some specific licence requirement information can be found via the links below:-

Find out more information regarding a premises license

Find out more information regarding a personal license

Find out more information regarding a club premises licence

Online and distance selling

You must provide certain information if you’re selling goods or services through digital TV, by mail order or by phone or text message. This is called distance selling.

If you don’t follow the rules you could be made to provide the goods or services as agreed, pay compensation or be given an unlimited fine or a prison sentence.

For more information please see links below:

Find out more information regarding online and distance selling for businesses

As well as the rules for distance selling, there are extra rules for selling online.

Find out more information regarding online selling

Starting to import

Most businesses hire someone to deal with customs and to transport their goods from overseas.

What you need to do depends on whether you’re importing from:

Please see link below for more comprehensive information:

Find out more information regarding importing

Data protection and your business


You must follow rules on data protection if your business stores or uses personal information.

This applies to information kept on staff, customers and account holders, for example when you:

  • recruit staff
  • manage staff records
  • market your products or services
  • use CCTV

This could include:

  • keeping customers’ addresses on file
  • recording staff working hours
  • giving delivery information to a delivery company

Find out more information regarding data protection and your business

Business insurance

Why do I need business insurance?

Business insurance can help protect business owners and independent professionals against everyday risks, such as mistakes, stock or premises damage, and legal costs (known as Liability insurance). Some policies can even protect against business interruption and supply chain breakdown.

Find out how to choose the right business insurance




Get Started have provided advice and help to 1000s of businesses in Blackpool. Our team are here to help you with the questions you have about starting a business.

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