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Street trading

Date updated: 6/03/2020

City of London Various Powers Act 1987

Street trading in the City of London is regulated by the City Corporation under the City of London Various Powers Act 1987. Middlesex Street (Petticoat Lane Market) contains the only market stalls in the City of London. With the exception of these market stalls, street trading is not permitted on any public street or place in the City of London geographical area unless a Temporary Licence under section 11A of the Act has been granted. Temporary licenses are only granted if they comply with certain terms and conditions as stated in the City Corporation’s Street Trading Policy which can below. The service is committed to the principles of the Regulators' Code, a statutory code for all regulators. We have an Enforcement Policy approved by the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee which sets out our approach to enforcement work which can be found below. 

If you want to find out about wholesale food markets in the City of London please visit our Markets page

If you would like any further advice or assistance about a street trading matter or to report illegal street trading, please contact the licensing team by phone on 020 7332 3406 or by email to the Licensing team.

PH and PP Policy Statement on Enforcement PDF (215KB)
Date submitted: 1/21/20
Street trading policy PDF (365KB)
Date submitted: 1/21/20

There are a number of licensed pitches in the City of London part of Middlesex Street Sunday market (Petticoat Lane) but there are currently no vacant pitches available. There is a waiting list for a pitch at the market which you can apply to go on. Please contact the licensing team if you wish to go on the waiting list.

The remaining part of Middlesex Street Sunday market and weekday Petticoat Lane market is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Visit Tower Hamlets for further information.

Middlesex Street market is only open on a Sunday between 9am and 2pm.

Hawkers are not permitted to trade on any public street or place in the City of London as street trading is illegal in the City of London geographical area (the Square Mile). This is regulated by the Corporation under the City of London Various Powers Act 1987.

Some traders operate illegally in the borough. If you want to report illegal street trading please contact the licensing team by phone on 020 7332 3406 or by email to the Licensing team.

The distribution of advertising material such as flyers or leaflets for commercial purposes is not permitted in City of London geographical area. Exceptions can be made for charitable or religious advertising but this activity is regulated by the City of London Police. They can be contacted by phone on 0207 601 2736.

Street trading is not permitted in the City of London.

You may be able to give away free samples such as coffee but you should contact the City of London Police in the first instance as advertising for commercial purposes is generally not permitted in the City of London geographical area. City of London Police can be contacted on 0207 601 2736.

If your free sample is a food product, you should also contact the Health and Safety food team as there may be food hygiene regulations you have to comply with. The food team can be contacted by phone on 020 7332 3630 or by email to the Public Protection team.

Mobile catering vans are not permitted to trade on any public street or place in the City of London as street trading is illegal in the City of London geographical area (the Square Mile). This is regulated by the Corporation under the City of London Various Powers Act 1987.​