Do I need a license?

It is your legal requirement and responsibility to check your licensing requirements with your local council.

From 1st October 2018 the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into effect.

Breeding Dogs

An animal activities license is required for anyone who keeps a breeding establishment (Including private dwellings) for dogs which meets the following conditions:

  • If in a 12 month period their dogs give birth to 3 litters or more, regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.
  • Anyone "in the business" of breeding and selling dogs needs to be licensed regardless of the number of litters they have in a 12 month period.

New guidence from DEFRA, updated in Aprill 2021, makes clear that "If someone has a trading income above the HMRC trading income allowance, they do not automatically qualify as a business. They must have a license if they do either or both of the following:

  • breeding 3 or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period - unless they can prove that none of the puppies have been sold as puppies or adults
  • breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs - as defined under the business test

Selling Animals as Pets

An animal activities license may be required for someone who is “in the business” of selling animals as pets. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet. This can be any types of pets, from cats, rabbits, rodents and other pets. *

* The decision as to whether you are classed as “in the business” of breeding and selling dogs, or selling animals as pets is decided by your local council and the requirements vary between each local council authority. Many local authorities apply a business test which they will use to determine whether an individual requires a license.

Finding a Local Councils Requirements

You can use the Find Your Local Council website page to check what the requirements are within your local authority as well as the contact details needed to discuss anything further with them.

Third Party Sales

Please note that Pets4Homes do not allow anyone to advertise kittens or puppies bred by third parties. All puppies or kittens advertised MUST have been bred by yourself, unless you are rehoming an older pet that you can no longer keep. See our general guidelines for more information. 

If you are already licensed

If you have an animal activities license, please update your account details to include your license details and an uploaded image of your license (see how here). Unless you disclose your license details we may ask for evidence of your licensing status.

If you need further assistance

If this help article did not answer your question, you are of course more than welcome to reach out to us by clicking the button below.

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