Business licences

        View the information below for the type of license, how to apply and eligibility criteria.

        Consumer complaints

        We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you – preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau Advice guide will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

        Animal Welfare Licensing

        Advice For People With Animals Re Covid-19



        Thanet District Council is responsible for the licensing and inspection of Animal Welfare establishments (Pet Shops, Boarding Kennels and Catteries, Home Boarding of Dogs, Dog Day Care, Dog Breeding and Riding Establishments) across our District.

        Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) Act 2018

        On 01 October 2018 new legislation came into force and replaces the previous legislation applicable to:

        •    Boarding of Cats and Dogs in Catteries or Kennels
        •    Breeding of Dogs
        •    Home Boarding/Day Care of Dogs
        •    Pet Shops
        •    Riding Establishments

        The 2018 Regulation has also introduced the following:

        • a one licence system, whereby each of the activities underlined above is considered to be a licensable activity, and an operator may apply for multiple licensable activities on the one licence.
        • a new “Star Rating” scheme, ranging from one to five stars, assessed according to risk and welfare standards at the premises.
        • licence periods of up to three years, linked to the star rating given to the premises.

        Anyone planning to apply for a new licence should read the 2018 Regulations, and the statutory guidance notes to fully understand your obligations and duties under the new Regulations, to assist the trade, all of these documents are available via the links further down this page.

        The following Guidance Notes will assist individuals and businesses as to their responsibilities under the new Act;

        Further online guidance is available to the Trade to assist individuals and businesses transition to the new requirements and the new law:


        Breeding of Dogs                          £307.00

        Selling Animals as Pets               £225.00

        Hiring of Horses                           £307.00

        Boarding of Cats and Dogs         £225.00

        Training or keeping Animals for Exhibitions      £220.00

        If you intend to conduct dog breeding or horse hiring activities, you will also be responsible for paying for a veterinarian to inspect the premises. The veterinarian will accompany a Licensing Officer on the visit.

        New Application Process

        Applying for a new licence

        Once you have read through the guidance relevant to your chosen activity or activities, and the Regulations, you will need to submit your application form, with all required paperwork and pay the application fee.

        Any Animal Welfare application may be undermined if your premises does not have suitable planning permission, it is therefore in your own interest to check and confirm whether this is required.


        Form for New Horses

        Download Form


        All premises will be inspected before a licence is granted. The Licensing Officer will be looking to make sure that the applicant has the following:

        • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare. This would include the animals’ mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment.
        • The applicant should be able to demonstrate that they have researched and followed expert guidance in order to carry out their role.
        • Comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities.
        • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Officer to examine.
        • Training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

        The premises itself will also be assessed so that we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

        Renewing an existing Licence

        All existing licence holders will be required to renew no less than three months prior to the expiry date of their licence, in order to guarantee licence continuation whilst the renewal process takes place. Licence holders must submit a valid application no less than ten weeks prior to the expiry date of their licence. 

        Although called a renewal, the process is almost identical to applying for a new licence. The only difference being the fact that a dog breeding establishment MAY not have to have a veterinarian inspection upon renewal. The renewal letter supplied will provide detailed information regarding the renewal process.

        Licences and star ratings

        Based on the application, and the information given to us at the inspection, we will assess the risk rating and award stars using a scoring method created by DEFRA, which is a requirement under the new scheme. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection.

        Premises with Lower Star Ratings

        A premises with a lower star rating are not necessarily premises to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered. We would advise that, as stated above, the scoring method is one we must use to comply with Government requirements, and the rating given should not be seen as a recommendation by the Council.



        Welfare Standards

        Minor Failings

        (existing business that are failing to meet minimum standards)

        Standards(as laid down in the schedules and guidance)
        Higher Standards

        (as laid down in the guidance)


        Low Risk1 Star

        1yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

        3 Star

        2yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 24 month period

        5 Star

        3yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 36 month period

        Higher Risk1 Star

        1yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

        2 Star

        1yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

        4 Star

        2yr licence

        Min 1 unannounced visit within 24 month period

        Appeals & Reviews

        Disputed Scores and Licence Reports

        If you wish to dispute the star rating given as not reflecting the animal welfare standards and risk level of your business at the time of the inspection you should first contact the officer to discuss this matter soon after receiving your rating. We will aim to respond within seven days of your request.  A different process applies if changes have been made since the inspection occurred.

        If you are not satisfied with the officer’s explanation, you have the option to formally appeal.  You must make your appeal in writing and submit it within 21 days of your grading being issued.

        This can be by letter, addressed to Licensing, Thanet District Council, P.O. Box 9, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ or by email to licensing @thanet.gov.uk. You can withdraw your appeal afterwards if you wish.

        An appeal will be considered by the head of the department that issued the licence or another senior officer who has not been directly involved in the inspection on which the grade is based.  The council must consider the appeal and provide a decision to the business within 21 days of the written appeal request being received.

        We will consider the appeal by reviewing the paperwork associated with the inspection.  This will include the application form originally submitted and the inspector notes from the visit. The past record for the business will also be considered including previous inspections and any complaints in respect of animal welfare which have been investigated.  In some circumstances a further visit may be required. 

        The costs of any additional inspections related to the appeal will be borne by the applicant unless it results in a higher rating being awarded. This will depend on the nature of the dispute and whether a decision can or cannot be made on the basis of the paperwork.

        If you then disagree with the outcome of the appeal, you can challenge our decision through judicial review, and you also can contact the Local Government Ombudsman if you consider that we have not properly followed the regulations and any statutory guidance.

        Licence Refusals / Suspensions

        If an officer advises that a licence will be refused or will be suspended they should provide details, in writing, with the reasons why. Generally, the reason to refuse will be because the officer:

        (a) Thinks the applicant is not capable of meeting their licence conditions

        (b) Thinks that granting a licence might negatively affect the welfare, health or safety of the animals involved in the activity

        (c) Considers the accommodation, staffing or management are inadequate for the animals’ well-being or for the activity or establishment to be run properly. The relevant guidance documents for the activity will explain in detail the requirements and conditions that must be met so you should have regard to these documents

        (d) Believes the applicant has been disqualified from holding a licence as per Schedule 8 of the Regulations.

        The Licence Holder / Applicant may appeal to a First-tier Tribunal if they do not agree with the decision made by us. This must be done within 28 days of the decision.

         Re-inspection visit for re-rating purposes

        If you have made changes to your business since the licence inspection, have been graded 1-4 stars, and have made improvements you can request a re-inspection to re-assess your star rating.  A re-inspection for re-rating purposes could lead to a lower rating being awarded rather than an improved grade.

        We should carry out the re-inspection visit within three months of receipt of the request (and payment where required). There is no limit to the number of re-inspections that can be requested, however a fee may be charged for each.

        The request should be made in writing.  This can be by letter, addressed to Licensing, Thanet District Council, P.O.Box 9, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ  or by email to licensing@thanet.gov.uk. You should outline the case for a re-inspection, that is, indicate the actions you have taken to improve the level of compliance or welfare since the inspection and, where appropriate, should include supporting evidence such as photographs or documents. Explain what has changed and how this changes risk or welfare standards.

        The Council can refuse to undertake a re-inspection if insufficient evidence has been provided that risk or welfare standards have changed.  If this happens the council will explain the priority actions that must be taken in order to improve the rating and indicate what evidence will be required for agreement to a re-inspection to be made on further request.

        New ratings cannot be given purely on documentary evidence.  A visit will always be made. The officer will not only check that the required improvements have been made, but also assess the ongoing standards. This means that the rating could go up, down or remain the same.

        Please email licensing@thanet.gov.uk if you wish to discuss anything further.

        Public register

        Once the Animal Activity Licence has been granted, the premises and its star rating will be listed on a public register in accordance with guidance issued by DEFRA.

        View the Public Register


        You must be registered to carry out any of the following types of skin piercing:





        Semi permanent skin colouring

        Both you and your premises must be registered. If you operate from different locations your business operating centre must be the registered address.  If you move you must register the new premises.

        Eligibility criteria

        You must provide specific information including details of your premises and any previous convictions for practicing without a licence in this field.

        Will Tacit Consent apply?

        No, you must not conduct the above activities until your registration has been approved. You will be contacted to arrange a visit.


        Personal registration – £55

        Premises registration – £255

        Variation: £25.50

        TDC bank details

        National Westminster Bank PLC

        Sort Code – 60 14 05

        Bank Account – 67834000

        Payee – Thanet District Council


        You will need to provide details about yourself and your premises, as well as pay a one-off registration fee. These are set by the council and vary from area to area.

        Thanet Council does not change or renew licences for acupuncture, electrolysis, piercing or tattooists and requires a new full application for any amendments.

        Failed application

        Please contact your Local District Council.

        Licence Holder redress

        Please contact your Local District Council.

        If a registration is suspended or cancelled the registration holder may appeal to the county court


        The Council inspects and licences commercial caravan sites.

        Conditions, based on Government Model Conditions, are attached to new licences on matters relating to health, hygiene and safety.

        Licences are currently free of charge and are issued under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

        The Government issued a Consultation document in 2009 as it is intended that the licensing regime – for Residential Sites – which was set up in the mid-20th Century, should be modernised for the 21st Century.

        Government intends a similar Consultation process for Holiday Sites sometime in 2010.

        Site operators need an appropriate Planning Permission for their land from Thanet District Council before applying for a licence. All planning enquiries should be addressed to the Planning Applications Manager (01843 577752)

        Apply online

        Thanet Council does not change or renew caravan and camping site licences and requires a new full application for any amendments


        To carry out house-to-house collections for charitable purposes in England and Wales you need a licence from the local authority.

        Eligibility criteria

        Applications must be in the form prescribed by the local authority.

        You must be a fit and proper person.

        Regulation summary


        • Apply to run a charitable collection
        • Notify us of the result of a charitable collection

        Please note that you will be making your application to Thanet Council via Gov.uk’s online licensing service. There is no charge for using this facility.

        Will Tacit Consent apply?

        Yes, after ten working days.

        Failed application redress

        Please contact your Local Authority.

        You have the right to appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of the refusal.

        Licence Holder redress

        Please contact your Local Authority.

        You have the right to appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of the decision.


        To be a scrap metal dealer, you need to register with your Local Authority.

        Eligibility criteria

        A scrap metal dealer shall be classed as carrying on a business in the Local Authority area if any of the following apply:

        • the dealer occupies a place as a scrap metal store in the area
        • the dealer does not occupy a place as a scrap metal store but has a usual place of residence in the area
        • the dealer does not occupy a place as a scrap metal store but occupies a place for business purposes

        Regulation summary

        Application evaluation process

        Applicants must provide the following:

        • their full name
        • the address of the dealer, or in the case of a company, their registered or principal office
        • the address of each place occupied as a scrap metal store, if any
        • if the business is carried on without a scrap metal store
        • if the business is carried on without a scrap metal store but the applicant occupies a place for the purposes of business, and the address of such a place

        The registered dealer must notify the local authority of any changes to these details or if they cease to be a scrap metal dealer.


        Initial grant of Site Licence508
        Initial grant of Collectors Licence294
        Renewal of Site Licence455
        Renewal of Collectors Licence295
        Variation Collector to Site Licence215
        Variation Site to Collector Licence65
        Variation (minor admin, such as change of address33
        Change of Site Manager108
        Copy of any Licence10.50

        Payment can be made using the following details

        Nat West Bank PLC

        Sort Code – 60 14 05

        Bank Account – 67834000

        Payee – Thanet District Council

        Will Tacit Consent apply?


        Apply now

        Failed Application redress

        Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

        Licence Holder redress

        Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.


        To run a sex shop – ie any premises selling sex toys, books or videos – you may need a licence from the Local Authority. To run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, you may also need a licence from the Local Authority.

        However, you may apply to the Local Authority requesting them to waive the requirement of a licence.

        Eligibility criteria

        An applicant:

        • must be at least 18 years old
        • must not be disqualified from holding a licence
        • must have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
        • must not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal.

        Regulation summary

        Application evaluation process

        Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

        Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and contain any information the local authority requires, as well as the applicant’s name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age, plus the address of the premises.

        Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

        Will Tacit Consent apply?

        Yes, tacit consent will apply after thirty working days unless you have been advised by the Local Authority that objections have been made and a hearing is necessary.

        Apply now

        Thanet Council does not change or renew sex shop or sex cinema licences and requires a new full application for any amendments

        Please note that you will be making your application to Thanet Council via Gov.UK’s online licensing service. There is no charge for using this facility.


        If you wish to show, demonstrate or perform a hypnotism act in public, you must have authorisation from the Local Authority in England and Wales.

        You must comply with any conditions attached to an authorisation.

        If you are performing in Scotland, you must have permission, or the premises must hold a premises or other entertainment licence. Permission in Scotland is obtained from the authority issuing the premises licences.

        A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

        Apply now

        Please note that you will be making your application to Thanet Council via Gov.Uk’s online licensing service (UK Welcomes) . There is no charge for using this facility.

        Will Tacit consent apply

        Tacit consent will apply after twenty working days.


        Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance


        To collect money or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes in England or Wales, you require a street collection permit from your local council.

        A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

        Permit (if no other collection booked)
        Returns to be checked

        How do I apply

        Contact the Licensing team


        Failed Application redress / Licence Holder redress

        Please contact your Local Authority.


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