Commercial street trading

A street trading consent is needed to offer or sell goods in a public place, on the highway, or within 10 metres of a highway (even on private land).

There are some areas within Watford where street trading is not allowed. You must hold a consent to trade in any other area.

To trade within the town centre, you must either rent a stall from Watford Market, or be approved to trade during one of our Big Events. No other trading is permitted within the town centre.

Applicants must be 17 or older. Applications must be submitted with:

  • an application form
  • proof of public liability insurance (£5m cover)
  • food hygiene certificate (if selling food)
  • proof of registration as a food business (if selling food)
  • two photographs
  • health and safety policy (if it is a company with five or more employees)
  • fee

Applications will be refused if the location is:

  • unsafe
  • likely to cause a nuisance
  • obstructs the highway
  • competing with existing traders
  • a prohibited street

Consent is also refused if the activity is not suitable for a Big Event (where applicable), the applicant has breached a previous consent, or has convictions for street trading offences or other offences of concern.

Consents last for up to one year.

It is important to note that this consent does not give permission to park in any parking bay (whether a residents’ parking bay or pay-and-display bay) in order to trade from that location whilst any governing restricted hours are in force.

Applications take at least 35 days to process, including a 28 day consultation.

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. You can't trade without permission.

  • A consent costs £462
  • A consent to trade during a Big Event costs £21 per day

Although there is no formal right of appeal against a refusal of an application, we will consider requests to review our decision.

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