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Pet shop licence

If you want to run a business that sells animals as pets, you will need a licence.

Apply for an animal activity licence

To apply you need to complete and submit the following forms:

Use our online form to submit the completed forms and public liability insurance certificate. You will also need to pay the fee using a debit or credit card.

You must have a veterinary inspector’s report if the shop is a new premises. You must pay the cost of the veterinary inspection.

The cost to apply for the grant of a pet shop licence is £477. The cost to apply for a renewal is £427.

When we get your application, we’ll arrange an inspection. We’ll check licence conditions that cover:

  • accommodation
  • food, drink and exercise
  • precautions to prevent the spread of disease
  • measures in the event of an emergency
  • records kept at the premises

After inspection, you’ll get a star rating between 1 and 5. You can find out more about the rating system in the DEFRA guidance notes.

We strongly advise you to read Guidance Notes for Selling Animals as Pets for more information on best practice.

You should allow two months for your application to be processed.

Report unlicensed pet shop

If you know or suspect someone is selling animals as pets without a licence, you can report it to us by using the general enquiries online form.

We will investigate reports to check if the premises has a licence.

Laws and regulation

Pet shop licences are issued under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.