Market trading licence

Hackney has a long history of unique and exciting markets, some of which have been around for hundreds of years. Each market has its own characteristics and certain commodities are more suited to specific markets.

If you’re interested in finding out about which market would suit you best, we recommend visiting each of the markets or street trading sites and talking to the Market Officers on duty.

Markets and street trading sites we operate

Who needs a market trading licence?

You’ll need a street trading licence if you want to sell goods or commodities and food and drink from the road, footpath or any other part of the public highway.

In some circumstances, you’ll need a street trading licence if you’re trading on private land and your pitch is within 7 metres of the public highway (and not within an enclosed premises which the public can access without payment).

View the markets and street trading handbook (PDF 16mb).

Before you apply

Apply for / renew a temporary market trading licence

There are 2 main types of street trading licence that you can apply for in Hackney: temporary and permanent.

Temporary licences last for 6 months and pitch fees can only be paid for by debit/credit card over the phone or in person at your market or trading site.

Permanent licences, which last 12 months, are paid for by direct debit and licence holders benefit from reduced pitch fees.

Before you can apply for a permanent licence, you need to have consistently traded with no disciplinary action within that period.

We award a permanent licence based on your trading patterns, commodity and the availability of pitches. and the permanent licence will need to be renewed before the end of each financial year.

Please note those permanent licences will not be renewed if the licence holder is in arrears. Persistent arrears can result in revocation of your licence.

Register your interest

To apply for a place on one of Hackney’s markets or miscellaneous trading sites, you must first upload the necessary documents and submit your interest using the Open Markets Platform. This is a new system we are using where you are able to submit one application to trade within many markets or miscellaneous sites within Hackney. You’ll also have the opportunity to apply for markets with other London Boroughs.

Apply for a place – Hackney’s markets or misc trading sites

Upon receipt of your interest form, the Markets Service reviews your submission and assesses whether or not you’d be a good fit for the market/s or street trading site/s you’ve selected. If there is availability in your chosen market, we ask you to follow the application process. The application process includes making a payment of the application fee and attending an interview before the application is approved. If we feel that you are not a good fit for the market/s, we deny your request and state a reason why. If the market you are looking to trade in does not have availability, you’ll be added to the waiting list. Application fees are non-refundable.

If you’ve submitted interest for markets within other London Boroughs, you need to contact them for an update on your application.

What happens next?

We will be in touch within 28 days. We’ll review your submission and you’ll receive one of the following responses:

  • if you are a good fit for your chosen market site/s and space is available, we’ll contact you for payment of the application fee and invite you for an interview before the licence is approved
  • if you are a good fit for your chosen market site/s and space is not available, we will add you to the waiting list for your chosen market and offer another suitable location to start trading from until there is space available
  • advise you that your commodity is not suitable for any of our market locations or ask you to provide more information or take further action before we make any decision
  • if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

If you are an existing trader with a Temporary Licence and wish to renew your temporary licence, you can do this by logging into your online account. If you are having any issues, please send an email to

Registering a manager, assistant or vehicle

If you’re a market trader, you can employ a registered assistant to cover a short period of time each day and for up to 2 weeks holiday a year. Both temporary and permanent traders can have up to 4 assistants, and one of them can be registered as a manager. Managers and assistants are registered for the lifetime of your licence so will not need to be renewed.

After you apply

We review and process applications within 10 working days. If you’re unsuccessful, we’ll explain why or what you need to do to help us process your application.

When making a temporary licence application you may be asked to attend an interview. We’ll contact you to arrange a suitable date and time.

We review renewals (to ensure all documents have been supplied) within 7 working days.

Make a change to an existing licence

Page updated on: 21 May 2024

Markets Service


First Floor
51-63 Ridley Road
E8 2NP


Opening times

  • Markets office is open for tel enquiries and walk-in appointments, Mon-Fri 7am to 5pm