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 or similar events approved by the Head of Community and Environmental Services. If you feel that your event meet this criteria please contact the licensing team to discuss further. Please see our policy on trading within the town centre. No other trading is permitted within the town centre.

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

  • the relevant 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

You can apply for a street trading consent online.

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 or similar 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. Consents will be granted subject to our standard conditions, and the council may also attach such other conditions if we consider it reasonably necessary to do so.

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. Applications for town centre street trading consents as part of a Big Event or similar event take 10 working days to process.

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 £485
  • A consent to trade during a Big Event or similar event costs £22 per day

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

rating button