COVID-19 - updated government guidelines

A national Lockdown has come into force from 6 January 2021.

The Government has advised people to follow the rules with immediate effect. 

Remember: ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

The transmission rate is extremely high and it is imperative that we follow all the COVID-19 safety  rules on our markets  to ensure the safety of our traders and the general public.

The government has now issued new enhanced legislation: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England)(No. 4) Regulations 2020 and new guidelines.

All of our existing street trading licences and associated charges remain suspended as they have been since 16 March 2020. If you wished to continue trading you must submit an application for a temporary licence to the street trading team in writing to the No trading should take place until it has been formally authorised and any unauthorised trader will be classed as illegal street trading.

The Government has announced new government restrictions. Guidance is legally in force from 6 January 2021. The process outlined above still remains in place, and  from 6 January 2021, temporary licences will only be approved and issued to those traders applying to sell the items permitted in the Government's updated guidance issued on 4 January 2021.

In light of the updated guidance, temporary licences will be approved and issues to traders only applying to sell the following permitted items:

  • Food Stall (take away only)
  • Bicycles, bicycle repair, and bicycle accessories
  • DIY tools and supplies
  • Food, ready to eat and groceries
  • Pet food and supplies

Other non-essential retail can remain open for click-and-collect where the sale has been made online or by phone and the customer is only visiting the stall to collect their purchase/make payment. If reopening as a click-and-collect service there must be a prominent sign reminding people that you are not serving passing trade.

If you break the rules:

The Police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

Note: This advice is subject to change if Government advice is amended. You will be notified of any future change.

Note: All temporary licences issued for the next two weeks for non-essentials goods are now withdrawn and all traders wishing to sell non-essential goods on click and collect will need to contact the for an updated licence.

The following people can apply for a temporary street trading licence:

  • licensed trader (forecourt, kiosk or street) with Camden or any other London local authority
  • registered casual
  • registered assistant

Licences are issued on a daily and weekly basis and there is no charge for the licence or for trading. Please email providing details of:

  1. the market or street trading location you wish to trade at
  2. goods that you would like to offer for sale
  3. days on which you would like to trade

Safety is our priority and we are ensuring that our markets meet all Government guidelines and legislation. There are no pre-allocated pitches and there is no guarantee that the same pitch will be allocated each time.

For those of our traders who are unable to trade, information about support is updated on our dedicated webpage.

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:

Equipment suppliers

There are many places to buy market equipment but the following links are a good place to start:

Market equipment and stalls

Electrical adapters

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:

Apply for a garage on a housing estate

Before you start your application

To hold a licence you must be 17 years of age or older.

Insurance cover

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.

Apply to trade on a street market

Our street markets have a range of different hours and trading days to suit people who already have work or home commitments that prevent them from working 9 to 5.

We issue casual and temporary licences. Both licences detail the commodity that may be sold. Casual licences may have conditions relating to which markets they can be used on and which days. Temporary licences detail the days and the market that the trader is licensed to trade on.

Many traders have multiple licences and work on different markets on different days of the week.

We are currently seeking new traders for:

If you would like us to inform you as soon as the applications are available, please fill-in our expression of interest form.

Special offers

We have a special discounted daily pitch price of £10 and £6 per additional pitch which is open to all new applicants to trade at Queen’s Crescent and Chalton Street markets.

If you are interested in trading at Queen’s Crescent Market and are currently licensed with another London local authority you can trade at Queen’s Crescent for two weeks without the need to fully comply with our current licensing process. All you need to do is to provide us a copy of your trading license and a public liability insurance certificate.

Charity and community stalls

Camden welcomes charities and volunteers to join any market for free. There are no fees if you are not offering something for sale. Fees are negotiable/not applicable for groups selling to fund activity or promote activity. Apply for a charity or community stall.

You will be required to provide a copy of your Public 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.

License a forecourt

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 running a business distinct from their shop on their own forecourt.

Buy casual trading tickets

If you are a licensed casual trader you can buy tickets by calling our duty line 020 7974 2475.

  • Monday to Wednesday from 9:30am 4:00pm
  • Thursday 9:30am to 1pm

Or you can email us at

Apply for sale of Christmas Trees

If you are interested in applying for a Christmas tree temporary trading licence please submit an application form to

The closing date for sending your application is 6 December 2020.

Sites available for 2020 with pitch dimension - 4m x 2m:

  • Fortune Green Cemetry/Queens C
  • Camden Road (Junction of Royal College Street)
  • West End Lane (by St. James’ church)
  • Hampstead Cemetery
  • Chalk Farm Road
  • Whitestone Pond
  • Queens Crescent market
  • Inverness Street market
  • Plender Street
  • Eton Avenue (Swiss Cottage Market)
  • Chalton Street market church)
  • Finchley road (outside Waitrose)

Please specify on your application which trading site(s)/Market(s) you are applying for. Include details of how much space you require to display, store and package trees (including equipment used). Some of these areas may be at different locations to the trading site, but all areas required need to be included in your application is your operation needs these areas as part of your set up.

All licences issued will be subject to additional COVID-19 conditions.

You will also need:

  • To be 17 years of age or older;
  • Proof of Identity (In date, valid passport);
  • If passports that are not within the EU additional documentation with regard to residency status, (Home Office Papers) and rights to work need to be shown;
  • Proof of Residency (Council tax bill (for current period), Utility Bill (Gas, water, electricity dated to cover current period);
  • Two full face passport size photographs (in line with passport guidelines);
  • National Insurance Number to be provided;
  • Proof of valid public liability insurance that with cover to the required amount (no receipts to be accepted). This insurance to include the names of any proposed registered assistants;

All assistants must be listed on the application with accompanying documents (i.e. ID, NI, proof of address).


  • Markets: £23.46 daily rate per pitch
  • Queens Crescent and Chalton Street markets: £10.20 per pitch per day and £6.12 per additional pitch
  • Miscellaneous sites and out of market sites £25.50 daily rate per pitch

Please note that there is £61.60 non-refundable application fee and £20.40 for per registered assistant.