Other licences A to Z

Use the links on the right to find out more information and apply for any licence issued by Bristol City Council.

A to C

Acupuncturist
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 requires that all persons that carry out acupuncture be registered with the local authority. Officers will visit the premises to ensure they comply with the requirements of both the Act and any local Bylaws.

Find out about acupuncture licences

Boarding animals
Animal boarding establishments require a licence issued by the local authority. Officers visit each premises to check compliance with the legislation and licence conditions prior to issuing of a licence.

Find out about getting an animal boarding establishments licence.

Boatman
Any person wishing to become a boatman must obtain a licence. Boatman refers to a person or operators who wish to hire out boats or crafts. 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.
Please contact the Bristol City Docks Manager on 0117 903 1484.

Building materials
A licence is required for placing building materials on any part of a highway. Any such materials must be kept on private property if possible in which case a license is not required. Licences are only issued in exceptional circumstances for any duration up to a month. The applicant can extend this before the granted license expires.

Contact Customer services by email customer.services@bristol.gov.uk or call 0117 922 2100

To apply for a licence complete and return the Builders Deposit Licence Application Form (pdf, 137k) (opens new window) .

Car boot sales
In order to run a car boot sale a licence is required from the council. Find out about getting a car boot sale licence.

Caravan and Camping site licence
If you allow your land to be used as a camping site by the public for more that 42 days consecutively - or 60 days in a year you require a licence from the council. 

Find out about getting a caravan and camping site licence.

Cinema
A Premises Licence can be applied for to permit one or more of the following licensable activities under Licensing Act 2003

  1. Sale by retail of alcohol;
  2. Regulated entertainment this may include plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling entertainment, live music, recorded music, performance of dancing, anything of a similar description to live music, recorded music or performance of dance, provision of entertainment facilities for making music, provision of entertainment facilities for dancing or the provision of entertainment facitilites of a similar description to making music or dancing;
  3. Late night refreshment which is the provision of hot food or drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am.

Find out about obtaining a cinema licence.

Club premises 

A club premises certificates can be applied for by a qualifying club to permit the following licensable activities:

  1. Supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club - for qualifying clubs there is technically no sale by retail of alcohol (with the exception of guests) this is because members own the alcohol stock. Therefore the money which is paid across the bar is a way to preserve equity between members, as one member may consume more alcohol than another member.
  2. Provision of late night refreshment - this is the supply of hot food or drinks between the hours of 11pm and 5am.
  3. Regulated entertainment - this may include plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling entertainment, live music, recorded music, performance of dancing, anything of a similar description to live music, recorded music or performance of dance, provision of entertainment facilities for making music, dancing or anything of a similar description to making music or dancing.

Find out about obtaining a club premises certificate

Credit
If a business offers credit or lends money to consumers, or allows customers time to pay for goods and services, it must be licensed with the office of fair trading.
Please contact Trading Standards on 0117 922 3604.

D to H

Demonstrations, events and paradesSometimes, in special circumstances roads are closed to allow sporting events or parades to take place.

More information on road closure licence for demonstrations, events, street parties and parades.

Discretionary Licensing

In some areas of the city, landlords who rent out houses or flats must get a licence from the Council to do this. This is called Additional Licensing or Selective Licensing, sometimes known as Discretionary Licensing.

Find out about discretionary licensing

Dog breeding
Under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, as amended by the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, you must have a licence from the local authority to keep a breeding establishment for dogs. Premises must be inspected by a local authority officer and a vet prior to issuing of the licence.
Please contact the Environmental Protection on 0117 922 2500.

Door supervisor
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) are now responsible for licensing door supervisors.
Please contact the SIA on 0870 2430100.

Environmental permits

Under Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, industrial activities that have the potential to cause air pollution are required to hold permits.

Find out about Environmental permits

Exotic, dangerous or wild animals
The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 states that licences are required from the local authority to keep certain animals. An application must be made to the local authority who will inspect the premises where the animal is to be kept with a vet to ensure that the conditions, cages, food, etc. is suitable.
Please contact the Environmental Protection on 0117 922 2500.

Food business
UK law requires registration of premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures). Registration allows local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of all those premises in their area so they can visit them when they need to. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of business.
For more information please contact Public Health Services on 0117 922 2500.

Highway excavation licence
You'll need a highway excavation licence if you're going to be doing any excavations that involve the highway such as installing drop kerbs.

To apply, complete and return the application form to the address included.

Highway excavation licence application form

Highway projection
A local authority is responsible for processing applications for licences required for any display or temporary construction which may protrude or project over a public highway.

Find out about scaffolding and hoardings licence.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing

 A licensable HMO is a house with three or more storeys, and with five or more people living there, in two or more households. In some cases a maisonette in a house or above commercial premises may need a licence if similarly occupied. It is an offence to operate a licensable HMO without a licence, and there can be heavy penalties on conviction. The licence makes sure that the property is safe and meets basic occupancy standards, for example, has enough bathrooms.

Find out about HMO licensing

House to house collection
Permission must be granted by the local authority before a house to house collection can take place. Application should be made to the local authority with sufficient notice prior to the date on which the collection is due to take place. For more information please contact the Licensing Team by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Hypnotism licence
If you wish to show, demonstrate or perform a hypnotism act in public, you must have authorisation from a local authority in England and Wales.

Apply for a hypnotism licence

L to R

Late hours catering
A Premises Licence is required for all premises that supply hot food or hot drink to members of the public between the hours of 11.00 pm and 05.00 am.

Lottery
Applicant are required to apply to the local authority for a licence.
Please contact the Licensing Office by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Motor salvage operators
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 requires all businesses involved in buying and selling of scrap metal to be licensed by the Local Authority and includes both those who operate from sites and those who collect door to door (commonly referred to as itinerant scrap metal dealers).

Find out about Scrap Metal Dealers licence

Non-medicinal poisons
Registration of persons entitled to sell poisons included in part II of the poisons list. In order that a business is able to supply these types of products then it must be registered with the local authority and retained on that authorities list of persons entitled to sell poisons.
Please contact Trading Standards on 0117 922 3604.

Personal licence
A personal licence is required in order to be named as the Designated Premises Supervisor on a Premises Licence.

Performing Animals
In the case of performing animals it should be noted that persons with no fixed place of residence can register in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow. Find out about registering performing animals.

Pet shop
The Pet Animals Act 1951 requires any shop that sells pets (livestock) to be licensed by the local authority. Officers inspect the premises to check compliance with general health and safety requirements and also the welfare of the animals prior to issuing of the licence.

Find out about getting a pet shop licence

Pleasure boats
Processing applications and issuing of licences to a person wishing to be in charge of a pleasure boat or vessel for the purpose of letting it out for hire to members of the public or to be used for carrying passengers for hire.
Please contact the Bristol City Docks Manager on 0117 9031484.

Private club - late hours
If a private members club wishes to extend its permitted hours it must apply to vary the Club Premises Certificate in respect of the premises.

Private hire driver's licences
A licence is required before any person can drive a private hire vehicle. Licenses are issued subject to proof of eligibility (age, driving licence, criminal records check, medical assessment etc.)

Find out about private hire drivers licence

Private hire operator's licence
A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles. 

Find out about private hire operators licence.

Private hire vehicle
Private hire vehicles are vehicles that cannot be hailed from the street, and journeys must be pre-booked. Vehicles must be tested and inspected before a licence can be issued to ensure that they are mechanically fit, safe and comfortable.

Find out about private hire vehicle licence

Public entertainment
A Premises Licence is required for the provision of regulated entertainment, this may include the provision of live music, recorded music, performance of dance, provision of facilities for making music and dancing.

Riding establishment
In order to provide riding lessons or hire out horses for payment, a licence is required under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970. Officers visit each premises to check compliance with the legislation and licence conditions prior to issuing of a licence.

Find out about getting a riding establishment licence.

S

Scaffolding and hoarding
Any scaffold or hoarding which encroaches or projects over the highway requires a scaffold permit. These permits are only issued to the scaffolding company. More information on scaffolding and hoarding licence.

Scrap metal
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013  requires all businesses involved in buying and selling of scrap metal to be licensed by the Local Authority and includes both those who operate from sites and those who collect door to door (commonly referred to as itinerant scrap metal dealers).

Find out about Scrap Metal Dealers licence

Self drive boats
Any person wishing to use a boat or other craft in British rivers and canals are required to register, or obtain a British waterways licence, or pay a toll.
Please contact the Bristol City Docks Manager on 0117 903 1484.

Sell explosives
Under the Explosives Acts 1875 to 1976, Fireworks Act 1975 to 1976, and Keeping of Fireworks Order 1959 a licence is required to hold or sell fireworks in any premises. The local authority (often jointly with local fire services) inspect premises to ensure that safety conditions are met prior to issuing a licence.
Please contact Trading Standards on 0117 922 3604.

Find out about applying for a licence to sell fireworks.

Sex establishments and sex cinemas
Service Description Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, covers the licensing of sex establishments and sex cinemas.
Please contact the Licensing Team by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Sexual Entertainment Venues
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 enables the council to control the provision of  sexual entertainment venues within its administrative area. Applicants can seek to obtain a licence to operate a sexual entertainment venue, or to secure a waiver.
Please contact the Licensing Team by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Skip operators
Skips require a permit if they are to be placed on the highway. This is a requirement of the Highways Act 1980. The council has the right to specify conditions relating to the position of highway skips.
Please contact the Highways Team on 0117 922 2100.

Sports ground
Any sports ground with a capacity of more than 10,000 spectators must be certified by the Local Authority. This certificate is issued after inspections to ensure that the ground meets safety criteria laid down by the government. There is also an input by the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services. Find out about getting a:

Street café
Processing of applications and issuing of licences to use a portion of a public street road or place for the sale of food and drink and for the placing of tables chairs and other furniture outside a restaurant.
Please contact the Highways Team on 0117 922 3209.

Street collection
A Street Collection permit is required for the collection of money or the sale of goods for a charitable purpose, which is held on a street or a public highway.

Street trading
Street Trading Consent to trade is required for all street trading activities such as hot food vehicles, ice cream vans and flower stalls. Food business may be subject to inspection and permission to site a mobile stall will be required from the Highways Department and from the landowner.

Sunday trading notification
Restrictions on opening times on Sundays are confined to large shops (defined as those having an internal sales area of over 280m2). These shops must be registered with the council for trading on a Sunday, and specify the six hours of trading on a Sunday which must be between the hours of 10am to 6pm. Smaller shops may trade freely on a Sunday.
Please contact the Licensing Team by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Supply of alcohol
Any premises involved in supply of alcohol by way of requiring a premises licence issued by the Local Authority. Any such sale must be authorised by a Designated Premises Supervisor.

T to Z

Tattooists, ear-piercing and electrolysis
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 requires that all persons that carry out tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis be registered with the local authority. Officers will visit the premises to ensure they comply with the requirements of both the act and any local bylaws.
For more information please contact Public Health Services on 0117 922 2500.

Taxi (Hackney carriage)
A hackney carriage is more commonly called a taxi. It is the responsibility of the local authority to regulate the number of hackney carriages it licences.

Find out about taxi licensing

Temporary entertainment events and /or supply of alcohol
Any temporary event lasting not more than 96 hours, where regulated entertainment and / or supply of alcohol is involved may require a Temporary Event Notice acknowledged by the Licensing Authority.

Find out about Temporary Event Notices

Theatre
A Premises Licence is required for the performance of a play for members of the public.

Track betting
A licence is required by anyone carrying on bookmaking on any betting track. This extends to any premises on which races, of any description, athletic sports or other sporting events take place. Please contact the Licensing Team on 0117 914 2500.

Voluntary mini-cab licensing scheme
Mini bus permits for voluntary and non-profit making organisations are issued by the Department of Transport. The local authority may wish to provide details of when such a permit is required and how to apply for the permit. Please contact the Licensing Team by email licensing@bristol.gov.uk.

Water sports
A person wishing to offer water sport activities to young people under the age of 18 years and who intend to operate these activities in a commercial manner must obtain a licence by the local authority.
Please contact the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) on 029 2075 5715.

Wedding or civil ceremony venue licence
To hold a civil ceremony or wedding at premises in England or Wales, they must be approved by your local authority.

Find out about getting a civil ceremony or wedding venue licence.

Weighbridge operator
Operators of public weighing equipment must hold a certificate of competence from a Chief Trading Standards Officer. Applicants will be expected to show that they can operate the weighbridge safely and correctly and complete all necessary paperwork satisfactorily.
Please contact Trading Standards on 0117 922 3604.

Zoo
Under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 any establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public otherwise than for the purposes of a circus or a pet shop requires a licence from the local authority. In order to issue the licence the authority will inspect the premises and consult other local agencies such as police, fire, planning authority etc. Licences are initially issued for four years, although they are usually granted for six years on renewal.

Find out about getting a zoo licence.