Illegal street trading

In Hillingdon, you need a valid street trading licence from the council if you're selling, offering to sell, or displaying for sale anything in a street or any other public area, or within 7 metres of the public highway.

Any illegal activity should be reported. 

What does street trading include?

  • Displaying goods on the pavement outside premises.
  • Stalls: Some traders set up stalls on private land and forecourts outside shops. People trading on private land may need a licence from the council.
  • Tables and chairs on the pavement: The council can grant annual and temporary licences (valid up to 6 months) to place tables and chairs on the footway outside catering establishments. In some parts of the borough, the council may have a policy of not granting a licence for various reasons.
  • Mobile trading vans (fast food outlet): These relate to the traditional burger vans found on lay-bys, verges, in industrial estates and other areas of the highway.
  • Ice cream vendors: This is where an ice cream vendor travels street to street trading from a vehicle and only remains in any 1 location in the course of trading for short periods of up to 15 minutes. These locations must be 65 metres away from a school entrance or exit.
  • Ticket sales: Tickets being offered for sale on the street where the exchange of monies then take place either on the street or in a property (ticket touts). 
  • Sales promotion (for example, paint balling and photo shoots): Promotions are being offered on the street. It should be noted that a peddler's licence is not acceptable for these activities.

How to spot illegal trading

If you see any of the types of trading listed above, they must have the following:

  • the licence displayed
  • the goods being displayed on the pavement must be of the same goods as those predominantly sold within the shop
  • there must be a suitably constructed trolley, stand or stall. It must be easily removed in the event of an emergency, for the maintenance of the footpath and at the end of every day's trading
  • they must remain trading within the licensed area.

If you see any street trading not complying with the above, please report it to us.

What we can do

  • If you report an illegal street trading to us, we will investigate and take enforcement action.
  • We have powers to issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to offenders or seek additional fines of up to £1,000 through the courts.
  • We have powers to enforce against illegal street trading across the borough and have the authority to refuse or revoke licenses under the London Local Authority Act 1990 (as amended).

Report illegal street trading

By reporting unlicensed traders, you help the council take effective action to stop this kind of activity.

Report illegal street trading using our online form. In your report, please include:

  • the exact location of the street trading
  • what's being traded and
  • a name and/or description of the trader.

Report illegal street trading

Page last updated: 10 Nov 2023