Selling animals as pets

If you sell animals as pets, you may need an animal activity licence. In order to obtain a licence, you need to ensure that you meet the specific licence conditions for selling animals as pets.

Do I need a licence?

You will need a licence if you are:

  • A business importing, distributing and selling animals
  • A business registered with Companies House
  • An individual or business operating from domestic premises for commercial purposes (it should be noted that many may not be listed with Companies House)
  • Premises open to members of the public or to other businesses where animals are available for purchase.

Visit GOV.UK for further guidance on the conditions (external link).

Anyone carrying out this activity without the relevant licence could be prosecuted and face imprisonment of up to 6 months, receive a fine or both.


To find out how much your animal activity licence will cost visit:

How to apply

  • BEFORE you apply you must pay the relevant fee online
  • Complete the application form - you will need to add your payment receipt number to your completed application
  • Complete the inspection form
  • The following documents must be produced with the application form. Failure to produce these documents within 7 days of submitting your application will result in it being returned and any fees paid refunded:
    • A completed inspection form (this shows how you are complying with and / or will comply with the relevant conditions)
    • Operating procedures covering the following:
      • Infection Control Procedure
      • Feeding Regimes
      • Cleaning Regimes
      • Transportation
      • Monitoring Health & Welfare
      • The Death or Escape of an Animal
      • Emergency Care Plan
      • A plan of the premises
      • Insurance Policy
      • Risk Assessments (including a fire risk assessment)
      • Qualifications (if any)
      • Training policy / records.
  • Submit the application and supporting documents via email to the licensing team or by post to the Licensing Team, PO Box 100, Wigan, WN1 3DS.

Please note:  The licence, if granted, is non-transferrable should the premises / business be sold or taken over by another operator.  If the licence holder dies, the personal representative of the licence holder can take on the licence provided that they inform the local authority within 28 days of the death that they are now the operators.


We are required to carry out an inspection of all premises where licensable activities take place before we can approve an application.

As part of your inspection, you will be given a rating based on specific criteria.

What do I do if I already have a licence?

Before the expiry date of your licence, you will need to make an application for a licence under the new regulations.

You are advised to familiarise yourself with the new licence conditions to ensure you are able to comply with these before making a new application - see further guidance on complying with the new conditions (external link).

Public register

We maintain a public register of all the businesses which hold an animal activity licence, a copy of which is available below. This will be updated on a regular basis.

© Wigan Council