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Market operator's licence

You will need this licence to run a 'private market' in North Ayrshire. A private market is a market at which goods are offered by more than 1 seller for sale by retail to the public. A licence is needed whether the market is in the open air or in a building.

You may not need a licence if the market is either:

  • held by charitable, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or similar organisations
  • held only for the sale of livestock, fodder or grain

How to apply

Complete the Market Operator's Application Pack (Word, 256kb) and return it to Licensing.


All fees can be found on our licence fees webpage.

Please include the fee with your completed application form. Cheques made payable to 'North Ayrshire Council'. If your application is refused or granted for a shorter period than you applied, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

What happens next?

We'll consult with Police Scotland and council departments and arrange to carry out an inspection on your proposed premises to make sure they meet the required standards.

Your application will be advertised on this website to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations.

If there is any comment from the public, Police Scotland, or any council department, you will be told and your application will be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision. If the Committee decides to have a hearing, you will be invited to that and you will be able to speak to the Committee. The majority of applications do not require a hearing and are granted by council officers.

It may take up to 3 months to process your application. If you haven’t heard from the Licensing Office within a reasonable period please contact us.

How long does the licence last?

If granted, a full licence lasts 3 years from the date of issue and can be renewed.

If you hold a licence and apply to renew it before it expires, the licence continues after expiry, until North Ayrshire Council make a decision on the renewal.

A temporary licence cannot be renewed. If an application for a full licence is made during the term of the 6 week temporary licence, the temporary licence lives on until the full licence is granted.

There is no limit to the number of temporary licences that can be applied for.

Licence conditions

The licence will have the council's Standard Conditions. In some cases the council may apply special conditions appropriate to your particular circumstances.

Any conditions which apply to you will be set out in the licence document you will be given. If these are broken, then the licence holder can be charged by the Police Scotland and the Licensing Committee can suspend the licence after a hearing. You will be invited to such a hearing and will be able to speak to the committee.

What law applies?

This is a licence under Section 40 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

Please note: We follow National Fraud Initiative guidelines to protect against fraud.

Contact Licensing




01294 310000


Licensing Section, Legal Services, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE