Business Licences

What is a business licence

A business licence is any kind of licence or permit a business is required to have by law, as stated by the government, in order to conduct certain trade activities. In the UK, local authorities are in charge of issuing licences.

They give businesses permission to do things like sell alcohol, play recorded music, allow gambling, and stay open until late at night.

Who needs a business licence

The government website has a licence finder to check this. Just go to and enter the relevant details. Businesses under certain categories will need a business licence.

These include, but are not limited to, selling alcohol, financial activities such as lending money, playing recorded music in public, running a business for HGV driver training or driving instructors, or processing customer data.

Licences are not required for all businesses, but you should make sure you check if your business needs a licence.

How to apply for a business licence

The application process depends on the licence you are applying for. In most cases, you will need to apply through your local council’s website or by contacting them directly. We would advise you to use the UK government licence finder, which will give you specific directions on the best place to find and apply for your licence. 

How to advertise your licence

A lot of licence application processes ask you to advertise your licence in your local newspaper. This means publishing the text contained in your licence as a small advertisement.

Some local newspapers only publish online or monthly in print, but some councils now allow businesses to publish their licence notice via email newsletters.

If you are considering this, please double-check that your council will accept it in your case. Be careful to arrange your licence to be published quickly, as you usually only have ten days to publish your advertisement.

Promoting your business licence with us

Here’s the good news: Newham Voices accept licence adverts. Our newspaper is printed at the end of each month and distributed around the borough of Newham.

For more information or to hear about this month’s deadlines, contact Maia Walsh at or call 077 1105 7096