Find out if you need a pet shop licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a licensing decision.
Do I need a licence?
You'll need a licence if you import, distribute, advertise an animal for sale or sell animals as pets as part of a business.
Individuals may be classed as a business depending on a number of factors.
Find out what makes you a business
Your licence will specify the types of animals that you can sell as pets.
Who can apply?
You can apply for a licence to sell animals as pets if you're 18 years or older and live in Rochdale borough.
You're not eligible to apply if at the time of your application you:
- Are disqualified under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals, or:
- Meet the criteria in Regulation 11 and Schedule 8 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 as being disqualified or had a licence revoked.
How to apply?
To apply for a licence to sell animals as pets:
- Download and complete the application form below and either:
- Email it to
- Post it to Public Protection Service, Rochdale Borough Council, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU.
- We'll call you to take your payment of the £155 licence fee by credit or debit card.
- We'll schedule an inspection of your premises by an animal welfare officer. Please note, you'll also need to pay the cost of any veterinary fees if a vet is needed during the inspection.
- If the officer is satisfied your premises meet all the licence conditions, we'll issue your licence.
What conditions do I need to meet?
To receive a licence to sell animals as pets, an animal welfare officer will visit your premises to check if you meet all the licence conditions.
Once you've received a licence, you'll also have to follow the conditions of the licence.
All these conditions are listed at the end of the application form which you can download in the section above.
Is my application grated if I don't hear back?
No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.
How long will my licence last?
Your licence to sell animals as pets will last for 1, 2 or 3 years. We'll decide the length of your licence based on the outcome of your inspection.
Can I renew my licence?
Yes. You must apply to renew your licence if you want to continue selling animals as pets. We'll send you the renewal documents to your licensed premises 3 months before your licence is due to expire.
You'll have to complete and return the renewal documents at least 10 weeks before your licence expires. If you don't renew in time, you'll need to apply for a licence again. This may affect the length of your licence and you may have to pay additional costs.
How do I appeal a decision?
You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we suspended, changed or revoked your licence or why we refused your application and what actions you can take before re-applying.
If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Fines and penalties
You could face an unlimited fine or up to 51 weeks in prison, or both, if you:
- Run a pet shop without a licence
- Don't follow the conditions of your licence
- Obstruct or delay an inspection by the licensing officer