Animal licensing

Apply for a licence to breed dogs

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, a licence is required to breed dogs as a business.

When is a licence needed?

A licence is required if you are:

  • breeding 3 or more litters in a 12 month period
  • breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

If less than 3 litters are bred in 12 months, we will consider your circumstances on an individual basis. This will include:

  • the frequency of litters bred
  • the sale price of the puppies sold
  • whether different breeds are bred
  • how the puppies are advertised for sale

If, after considering the points above, we determine that a licence is required, a breeder may demonstrate with evidence that they are not making a profit and so fall out of scope.

Are there any exceptions?

The following examples are considered out of scope and do not require a licence:

  • If all the puppies are kept by the breeder
  • if you are breeding assistance dogs
  • Dogs kept under the Animal Health Act 1981 or regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
  • Registered charities rehoming puppies born to rescue dogs unless run as a commercial activity

What should I consider?

Full details are available in the guidance notes below: 

Any dogs that are advertised for sale must include the licence number. They must also show which local authority issued the licence and provide a recognisable photograph of the dog along with the dogs age.

How to apply

Complete the following online form:

Apply for an animal activity licence

How to pay

The application fee is payable when you have completed the online form. Only the application fee needs to be paid at this time. The grant fee for the issue of the licence is payable following inspection.

Fees

Breeding dogs

One to five breeding bitches:
  • Application fee including renewals - £154.40
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £198.50
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £270.10
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £347.30
Six to 15 breeding bitches:
  • Application fee including renewals - £170.90
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £242.60
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £303.20
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £407.90
16 to 40 breeding bitches:
  • Application fee including renewals - £187.40
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £264.60
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £358.30
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £430
41+ breeding bitches:
  • Application fee including renewals - £209.50
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £319.70
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £374.90
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £468.60

Variation of licence

  • Application fee - £60.60
  • Vets fees where applicable and recharged at cost plus £85 inspection fee if required.

Minor variation

  • Minor administrative change (for example, name change or additional carer name) - £16.50

Transfer due to death of licensee

  • Application fee - £60.60

Re-evaluation of star rating

  • Application fee - £49.60
  • Inspection fee - £93.70

Copy of licence

  • Application fee - £11.60

Combination of licensable activities

  • Application fee - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Additional costs - Vets fees as required recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Licence grant fee for two years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Licence grant fee for three years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.

Help us to improve this website

Use this form to provide feedback on this webpage. Don't use it to contact us about a service or make a complaint. We will not reply, even if you include personal details such as your name and address. If you want us to reply, you should contact us in a different way.

What is your feedback for this webpage?

Give feedback about this page