Licences for businesses

Find out information on licences for businesses such as window cleaners, pet shops, horse riding establishments and many more.

The following licenses application forms and guidance are available to download and return to us by post, together with the relevant fee and supporting documents.

Boat Hire

Any person or operator wishing to hire out boats or crafts must obtain a Boat Hire licence. There are two types of licence that can be obtained, restricted, which applies only to persons on the shore or pier or a full boatman's licence, which applies to persons who assist in the charge and navigation of pleasure boats, craft or vessels to be let for hire or be used for carrying passengers for hire.

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Caravan Sites

Landowners must not allow their land to be used as a caravan site unless it holds a valid site licence. Exemptions to this rule include:

  • Incidental use within the boundary of a dwelling house; sites approved by certain organisations i.e. caravan club etc.
  • Building and engineering sites
  • Travelling show-people sites
  • Sites occupied by the Council

Planning permission may also be required.

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Late Night Catering

A late hours catering licence is required when premises are open for the sale of food or refreshment between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

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Licenses are required for commercial car boot sales, antique and craft fairs, farmers markets, continental markets etc.

A market operator's licence shall not be required for any of the following:-
a) functions held by charitable, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or similar organisations; or
b) markets held only for the sale of livestock, fodder or grain.

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Metal Dealers

Metal dealers are required to hold a licence for any premises which would be used for dealing in or processing metal. Metal dealers who buy and sell on a door-to-door basis must hold an "Itinerant Metal Dealer's Licence" issued by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

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Non Domestic Knife Dealers

It is a criminal offence to operate a business dealing in knives or swords in Scotland without a Knife Dealer's Licence.

A Knife Dealer's Licence is required for anyone carrying on business as a dealer of the following articles:

  • Knives (other than folding pocket knives whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91 cm) in length or knives designed for domestic use
  • Daggers (other than kirpans or skean dhus whose blade does not exceed 3.5" (8.91 cm) in length)
  • Knife blades (other than those designed for domestic use)
  • Swords
  • Any other article
    • Which has a blade or
    • Which is sharply pointed
    • And which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person
  • word icon Download the Knife Dealers application form [67kb]
  • pdf icon Read the Knife Dealers licensing conditions [70kb]
  • Fee - Full Licence = £354; Temporary Licence = £116

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Second Hand Motor Vehicle Dealers

A second hand motor vehicle dealers licence is required for carrying on the activity of dealing in second hand motor vehicles.

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Sex Shops

If your business sells sex articles, toys, books or videos you need a sex shop licence.

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Skin Piercing, Tattooing, Acupuncture and Electrolysis

If you want to carry out tattooing, skin piercing, acupuncture or electrolysis you will require a licence.

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Street Trading

A Street Traders licence is required before a person is permitted to clean wheeled bins or sell food for immediate consumption i.e. hot food vehicles and ice cream vans.

Food vans/trailers will be subject to an inspection by Environmental Standards and permission from the landowner/Highways department will be required.

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Sunbed and Tanning Centres

Premises which offer sunbed and/or tanning facilities, whether as a primary or secondary function. Sunbed and tanning facilities are electrical equipment which emit ultra violet rays so that the user may experience the effect of having a sun tan.

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Taxi and Private Hire

If you wish to drive a taxi vehicle, you must hold a taxi drivers licence. Private Hire Car Drivers cannot drive taxi vehicles unless they hold a separate taxi driver's licence. Licences are granted for a period of up to three years and all drivers must carry/display an identification badge whilst driving.

Licences are issued subject to proof of eligibility (age, driving licence, criminal records check, medical assessment etc).

When applying for a taxi or private hire driver's licence, 3 passport sized photographs and your DVLA driving licence must also be submitted.

Maximum Fare Structure

Our council have fixed the maximum fares and other charges for taxi hires in public places across the region.

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Taxi Booking Offices

A licence from the local authority will be required to allow the carrying on of a booking office for taxi and private hire vehicles.

Exemption is given to businesses "where the number of relevant vehicles in respect of which bookings are taken does not at any time exceed 3".

Maximum Fare Structure

Our council have fixed the maximum fares and other charges for taxi hires in public places across the region.

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Window Cleaners

A Window Cleaner's Licence is required for carrying out the trade of, or being employed as, a window cleaner.

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What information do I need to provide?

The information requested on the application form and the appropriate fee.

How is the application dealt with?

Under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, applications have a minimum consultation period of 21 days to allow for any objections to be received. Applications can then be considered and processed.

Can I lodge an objection or representation to a licence?

Yes, objections or representations relating to a licence application may be made in writing to the local authority, within 21 days of notice of the licence application being given, stating:

  • the grounds of the objection or nature of the representation
  • the name and address of the person making the representation

If you have any concerns regarding premises licensed by Environmental Standards or want to discuss those that may be unlicensed, please contact them 030 33 33 3000.

Related Information

Contact Details



Municipal Chambers
Buccleuch Street

Tel: 01387 245922

Contact Dumfries and Galloway Council T: 030 33 33 3000

Council Offices
English Street

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