Licence summary

You need a licence from us to run a business selling pet animals. This includes all commercial selling such as pet shops, businesses selling animals over the internet and from your own home.

Licences run from 1 January to 31 December and must be renewed before the expiry date for the premises to continue as a pet shop.


You do not need a licence to sell:

  • pedigree animals that you’ve bred

  • animals that are the offspring of your own pet.

What happens if I don't apply for a licence?

You can be fined up to £500 and/or imprisoned for up to three months if you run a business selling pets without a licence or break the terms of your licence.

Are there any restrictions?

You cannot apply for a licence if you are currently disqualified from keeping a pet shop.

How do I apply?

Complete the application and pay the fee online. We will then arrange for an authorised officer to inspect the premises to ensure that the model licence conditions are complied with and the animals are:

  • kept in clean, suitable accommodation

  • supplied with appropriate food and drink

  • adequately protected from disease and fire.

Apply for or Renew a Licence Online


  • first application: £233

  • licence renewal: £138

Where extra visits are required to investigate if you are meeting the conditions of the licence, a further charge of £97 per additional officer/visit plus any third party costs (such as vets’ fees) may be payable when you renew your licence.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. This means you must obtain a licence before operating a pet shop.

Appeals and complaints

If you are refused a licence or want to appeal against a licence condition please contact us. If the problem cannot be resolved, you can appeal to the local Magistrates’ court.

Consumer complaint

We advise that consumer complaints are first made to the trader, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For complaints such as noise pollution or one licence holder complaining about another, please contact us for advice.