It isn’t always necessary but be careful and take a look at the types of industry where you are required to hold a licence, as to open for business without one could be damaging to not only the business moving forward, but also you as an individual as the person to be held accountable.

What Type of Industries Require an Operating Licence?

The honest answer to this is that there is quite a wide and varied amount of businesses and many types of industry where the business owners have to hold a specific licence before they can begin operating and selling their products/services to the general public. These include:

• Hotels
• Restaurants
• Taxi Companies
• Pet Stores
• Tattoo Parlours
• Acupuncturists
• Hairdressers
• Food Shops
• Any Mobile Shop
• Sex Shops
• Massage Parlours

Alcohol Licence

If you are planning to sell alcohol, whether in a public house, shop, club, nightclub, casino, restaurant or hotel, you will be required by law to hold the relevant licence. Without this licence you can be prosecuted.

The Food Industry

For anyone looking to sell food, whether through a café, restaurant, mobile food service truck or as a catering company, there are a few guidelines relating to environmental health and food hygiene regulations to adhere to. Make sure you are completely up-to-date with all relevant information from the Food Standards Agency.

Businesses Involving Children

For childminder services, as a company or as a single person, or a nursery, owners and businesses have to register with the Office for Standards in Education (England), Care Inspectorate (Scotland), Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland) or the Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales).

Financial Services
Any business aiming to lend money, issue credit cards, collect debt or offer debt adjusting, must first apply to the Financial Conduct Authority in order to gain the relevant financial licences.

Not all businesses require a licence to operate but it is good business practice for a start-up owner to seek legal advice on all matters relating to their business before setting it up and starting to trade. This prevents any potential pitfalls and hazards further down the road that could be avoided with the relevant documentation from the beginning. You should also be fully aware of all health and safety responsibilities, as well as any potential hazards in the workplace, ensuring you adhere to all legal regulations in that regard.

You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network!

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