Animal licensing

Apply for a licence to sell animals as pets

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, a licence is required to sell animals as pets as part of a business.

When is a licence needed?

A licence will be required if:

  • you sell pet animals as a business
  • you keep pet animals with the view to them being sold
  • you breed pets with view to them being sold - if large numbers are bred and sold or small numbers are bred but sold for high prices. In this instance, we would consider situations on an individual basis and this would include consideration of the following: frequency of litters bred, sale price of the pets sold, whether different breeds or species are bred and how they are advertised

If, after considering the points above we believe 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:

  • Where an individual can demonstrate the activity is undertaken as a hobby or for education or scientific advancement
  • Where they are only selling surplus stock without making a profit

What should I consider?

Full details are available in the guidance notes below. Pay particular attention to the extended species specific guidance in parts C to L as appropriate.

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.


Selling animals as pets

  • Application fee including renewals - £159.90
  • 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 - £374.30
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £407.90

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.

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