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Pet shop licence

An animal activity licence is required from the Council if in the course of a business, you sell animals:

  • as pets, or
  • with a view to them being later resold as pets

This also includes keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to them being sold or resold.  This is subject to a business test which is defined in statutory guidance.

Applications cannot be made by any individual who:

  • is subject to a specific disqualification or
  • has had certain licences revoked in the past

Please refer to the regulations and statutory guidance by following the button below. This offers more detailed information on the requirements that will apply. The guidance also explains whether there are any exemptions.

There is also specific guidance in relation to selling animals as pets. This explains the business test and conditions of licence. It also includes what is in or out of scope for licensing.

Read the statutory guidance

How to apply

Applications can only be made by individuals.  An application form will need to be completed. This should be submitted with the application fee and any supporting documents.

You can do this by downloading an application form. You will need to complete the form and post or email it to the address on the form.

Download the selling animals as pets application form

Application evaluation process

The Council is not permitted to consider and determine an application until it has an inspection report for the premises.  In order to obtain a report the Council is required to instruct a suitably qualified inspector to inspect the premises.

The inspector is required to establish whether the mandatory conditions that will be attached to any licence can be complied with.  The Council is also required to consider whether the conduct displayed by any applicant indicates that they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity.

Following the inspection your application will then be considered and determined. This will involve an assessment to determine the star rating that will apply to the premises. The star rating awarded will range from 1 to 5 stars. We are also required to determine the risk level of the premises. Both of these assessments will be carried out having regard to the scoring matrix that is contained in the statutory guidance.

If your application is approved then a licence fee becomes payable.  The licence will be issued for a period of either 1, 2 or 3 years.  The length of licence is dependent on the star rating and the risk level determined for the premises. There is an appeals process for the star rating awarded.

Tacit consent and issue of licence

We will aim to have your application determined within 10 weeks of a valid application and complete application.  If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted. This is due to animal welfare implications.


Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay for your licence.

Conditions of licence

All licences will be subject to mandatory conditions of licence. These are set out in the regulations. Please read the statutory guidance relating to selling animals as pets. This provides guidance on what is required to meet the conditions of licence. The statutory guidance also provides advice on what is in and out of scope for licensing. 


The Council may refuse to:

  • grant or renew a licence, or
  • revoke or vary a licence

You can appeal this decision. Appeals should be made to the First-Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision.


Licence holders must apply for a renewal at least 10 weeks before their current licence expires. This is if they wish to continue to operate without a break.

Business support

There is a comprehensive range of business regulatory support services available. These help and advise businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Trade Associations

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