Information on how to become a market trader in Camden
Why you should become a street trader
With its low start-up and running costs, street trading is a great way to start your own business.
Many thriving businesses started as market stalls; from familiar high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Poundland, and Tesco to fashion brands such as Dunelm and Super Dry as well as snack companies like Innocent drinks. Markets are exciting and vibrant places, even if you just want to work for yourself and are not yet ready to start a retail empire.
Different private markets have different arrangements for renting their pitches and stalls to traders including written contracts and informal, daily, arrangements.
The Council licences traders under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended) and our traders enjoy certain legal protections. Unlike commercial operators, we cannot use fees and charges from our traders to generate a profit and must set the fees based on the cost of providing the service. This is why trading on Council run markets is often much cheaper than trading on private markets.
Our market’s team currently licenses trading on:
- our eight street markets
- our fifty miscellaneous sites and kiosks (these are usually on busy streets or outside tube stations and are often florists or newsagents)
- forecourts (this is trading on private land where the customer is on the street whilst being served, often this is where a shop owns some pavement and is renting it to another businesses or where the shop owner is selling something different to the business of their shop)
We also grant licences for special events that involve street trading.
Consent to put tables and chairs on the street is dealt with by our Customer Service Team.
Getting training and obtaining loans
If you are resident in London you might qualify for Start Up Step Up London, a programme designed to help Londoners access entrepreneurship and improve their enterprise skills.
You can find out more information about becoming a street trader, and accessing low-cost funding to help you start your business, at the following places:
There are many places to buy market equipment but the following links are a good place to start:
Market equipment and stalls
Find storage space
Some of our markets are close to housing estates that have vacant garages.
For information about who can rent garages and costs, please see our Apply for a garage page. Applications are handled by our Estate Management Team.
If you are applying for a garage, please use the lookup function to find your address, if you manually enter your address; the form will fail and your application will be lost:
Before you start your application
To hold a licence you must be 17 years of age or older.
Having the correct insurance ensures that, in the event of an accident, you, your workers, customers, and other members of the public are covered.
You must have public liability insurance covering a minimum of £5 million throughout the licensed period before you start trading.
If you are employing someone to work for you, you must also have Employers Liability Insurance.
This insurance should cost under £150 per annum and is included in the membership fee of the National Market Traders Federation or can be obtained through an insurance broker.
Additional requirements to sell food
To sell food you need to register with us as a food business. It is free to register, and your registration cannot be refused. You should register at least 28 days before trading. If you are preparing, cooking, or storing food at another location this must also be registered with the local authority where it is located.
Parking Permits can only be issued to vehicles registered in the name of the Licensee and will be withdrawn if:
- the licence holder does not trade for a period of four weeks or more
- the vehicle has unpaid parking fines
- the vehicle and/or users causes complaints from residents
Market traders: parking in a designated market trader bays. Each bay has a sign that is abbreviated with MKT or T for Market Traders.
Visit Trade permits (formerly parking permissions) to apply for a parking permit (builders, traders and other service providers engaged in work for a local resident or business who require on-street parking for their vehicle are eligible to apply).
If you have any further inquires about parking permits please call the Contact Centre: 020 7974 4444.
We offer free parking permits for up to 4 trading days. Please contact the Markets team to request your trial permit.