Selling animals as pets licence

Selling animals as pets licence

How to get a licence needed to sell pets

Licence summary

You'll need a licence if you run a business selling pet animals.

This includes:

  • pet shops
  • businesses selling animals over the internet

We may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

Selling animals as pet guidance (pdf, 869KB) (opens new window)

Regulation summary

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Eligibility criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  1. a person listed as a disqualified person in paragraph 4 or any of paragraphs 6 to 17 of Schedule 8 (see legislation above) where the time limit for any appeal has expired or where the appeal was refused
  2. any person listed in any of paragraphs 1 to 3 and 5 of Schedule 8 (see legislation above) as having held a licence which was revoked where the time limit for any appeal against that revocation has expired or the appeal was refused.

Apply for a licence

Applications can only be made by individuals.

The application form is a PDF that you'll need to save before you can edit. 

Apply for a licence to keep a pet shop (GOV.UK)

We'll respond to you within 5 working days to talk to you about your proposal and the fees.

  • Application fee: £75
  • Licence fee: £250 per year

There's a charge if you need to make an amendment to your existing licence. Contact the investigating officer to discuss this.

For more information, email

Star rating

Licences will be granted for either 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the star rating awarded after inspection.

We'll carry out a risk rating based on:

  • if you've sold animals business before 
  • your knowledge of the animals in your care
  • if you meet the criteria set out in the legislation
  • your ability to demonstrate your practices and staff training

The inspector will look at the animals and their environment and refer to the licence guidance. The overall score will determine the star rating and the length of licence.


Low risk

  • Minor failings: 1 star (1 year licence)
  • Minimum standards: 3 star (2 year licence)
  • Higher standards: 5 star (3 year licence)

Higher risk

  • Minor failings: 1 star (1 year licence)
  • Minimum standards: 2 star (1 year licence)
  • Higher standards: 4 star (2 year licence)

If you don't agree with your star rating

You can submit a written appeal within 21 days of the rating being issued to the licensing authority and request a re-inspection.

You'll have to pay for any re-inspection. Businesses disputing their star rating are encouraged to discuss this informally with the inspecting officer first so that there is an opportunity to help explain to the business how the rating was worked out.

Report the unlicensed selling of animals

If you have information relating to the unlicensed selling of animals,  contact us on 0117 9222500 (option 2)

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you , preferably by letter (with proof of delivery).

If that's not worked:

Premises currently licensed under the legislation (pdf, 40KB) (opens new window)

Contact information

Trading Standards (100TS)

PO Box 3399

Bristol, BS1 9NE

Opening Hours

Our normal opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
  • Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm


Tel: 0117 922 2500, option 2