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Knife dealer's licence

If you intend to sell or deal in the following articles, you'll need a licence:

  • knives (non-domestic)
  • knife blades (non-domestic)
  • swords
  • any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed and is made or adapted to cause injury to another person

A 'dealer' is defined as a person carrying on a business which consists wholly or partly of one or more of the following activities:

  • selling
  • hiring
  • offering for sale of hire
  • exposing for sale or hire
  • lending
  • giving

You do not need a Knife Dealer's Licence for the following knives, if the blade is less than 8.91 cm (3.5 inches) long:

  • folding pocket knife
  • kirpan
  • skean dubh

You might not need this licence if you teach or train people in fencing, archery or water sports.

How to apply

Please read our Knife Dealers Licence Application guidance notes (Word, 43kb) before completing and returning a Knife Dealer application form (Word, 96kb).


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 applications is refused or granted for a shorter period than you applied, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

What happens next?

We will consult with Police Scotland and council departments and arrange to carry out an inspection on your proposed vehicle or premises to make sure it meets the required standards.

Your application will also 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 8 weeks 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, period approval it will last for 3 years from the date of issue and can be renewed.

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

Does the licence have any 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 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.

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