Apply for a shop front licence

You will need this licence if you plan to display goods on the public highway outside your shop.

If you are a business such as a grocer or mini-market, you need permission to use the public highway outside your premises to sell or display goods.

The sale or display of goods/receptacles without the required licence is an offence under section 137 and 149 of the Highways Act 1980 and section 38 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990. It carries a maximum fine of £1,000 upon conviction.

Do it online

Apply for a licence on mylambeth

Costs for this service

The total cost for this service is calculated as your application fee plus the cost of your actual licence.

The cost of your actual licence depends on the band your business is on.

Band Licence fee
A £465
B £380
C £250

Online applications

The application fee for applying for a licence using our online portal is £111, and applications must be submitted before 1 April each year.

The discounted online application fee recognises the lower administration costs associated with processing the electronic online application rather than a postal application.

Please note: that the fee for the application does not cover the cost of the licence. You must pay both fees in full before we can issue a licence to you.

Online application queries

If you have difficulty applying online, please use the online form below to let us know.

Report an issue on a shop front

You can also email us:

What you need to know...

Terms and conditions

Documents you need to provide

  • Proof of address: a utility bill dated within last three months, such as gas, electricity or water bill.
  • Current Council Tax bill or a bank or building society statement dated within last three months.
  • Public liability insurance: this insurance provides cover against claims made by members of the public or clients who have suffered an injury or damage (including their property) in connection to your business.
  • Proof of national insurance: you can find this on your payslip, P60 or on letters about your tax, pension or benefits.
  • Proof of premises address.
  • A passport-sized photo of the person applying for the licence.

What happens next

Following a new licence application we will carry out a site visit. When inspecting a site we will take into account:

  • street furniture or anything that may cause an obstruction if the licence is granted
  • how busy the street is
  • historical existence of trading.

Once we have done this, we the consult with:

  • our Transport and Highways department
  • Transport for London, if the premises is on a Red Route
  • neighbours who live immediately above or beside the premises.

This can take up to 21 days, which is why we encourage you to apply for your licence with plenty of time in advance of you needing it.

If you have had a licence before and you’re merely renewing your licence you may not be subject to a site inspection. However, if your renewal request is in any way different to the previous year’s, we will likely arrange for a visit to be carried out before your licence is issued. We will routinely check premises to make sure that what is displayed on-street accurately matches what is stated on your licence application.

How long the licence lasts

A licence is temporary and lasts up to a maximum of one year by means of two concurrent licences.

Your licence starts on the day your application has been approved, and will finish on 31 March regardless of when we issued the licence.

The licence fee is fixed regardless of the amount of time between when you applied for the licence and its expiry date on 31 March.

We can withdraw a licence if valid complaints are received after the licence has been granted, or if you breach its terms and conditions.

Shop front goods on private property

You will still need a licence under Section 21 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990, which defines a 'street' for the purposes of licensing amenities on the public highway. It's explained as any road or footway, or any other area not being within permanently enclosed premises, within seven metres of any road or footway to which the public have access without payment.

If you think your goods are on private property please contact us on 020 7926 9000. We may ask you to provide legal documentation to support this.