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paulalexanderjones paulalexanderjones is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Street Trading?

Im wanting to set up my own business selling food and beverages from a mobile stand in and around London City Centre (tube/train stations, outside office buildings etc). First of all what licenses do I need to get in order be able to trade? How do I find out where I will be able to pitch a stall? I realise that these are the most important questions to ask first because if I cant get a license or anywhere to do trade then I have no business to set up!

Please help.

Yours sincerely,

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thickchick thickchick is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 246
Hi Paul

If it is hot/cold food you will need to consider the following:

To trade in public areas you must possess a licence from your local authority . See for a directory of the UK's local councils. Different Councils may have different requirements, the licensing department will be able to advise you.

Food preparation is governed by a number of standards and regulations. Chief among these are the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991, which require all food businesses to register with their local authority 28 days before starting to trade.

There is a legal requirement for everyone involved in food preparation in the UK to hold a basic food hygiene certificate. Relevant training options include the courses offered by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) - see for details.

Further contacts:
Food Standards Agency
Dedicated website for new catering businesses, covering training requirements, regulations and hygiene advice.

The Mobile and Outside Caterers Association (MOCA)
Advice on getting started, directory of competitors and suppliers, events, training, publications.

Suppliers of suitable trailers, carts and stands for mobile catering.

Good luck
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paulalexanderjones paulalexanderjones is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Thanks thats great, I'll have a look into all of that. I've decided I'm not going to be selling food to start with, and focus mainly on coffee, tea and other hot and cold drinks and see how that goes, so do I still need to hold a food hygiene certificate? Or is there something similar for selling beverages?

I've contacted the local councils and they are sending me information for licenses. I'm just worried that I won't be able to get pitches to trade where I want to trade!

I'm confident in my idea but it's just such a big step to take just coming out of uni and a lot of money when I'm already in student debt! Obviously it's the van that will cost the most money - kitting it out with the coffee making equipment and fridges etc. Do you know of any companies that specialise in this sort of modifying work?

Many thanks,

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