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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12072
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I sell fresh fish door to door and have been visiting Scotland

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I sell fresh fish door to door and have been visiting Scotland recently. I am unsure if I need a street traders licence or not. All the research I have done seems to suggest I dont, but the police do not seem to recognize this fact. I sell to people on their own doorstep not in the street or from my vehicle, from a basket I carry to the door.
Some websites say a peddlers licence is acceptable for this form of trading but others including the citizens advice Scotland says a peddlers licence is not even required for this as it is foodstuff I'm selling and am exempt from needing one.
After being visited by police during my trading day on a few occasions some say I'm okay to carry on, others tell me to leave town or they will seize my vehicle and contents, and others simply don't know what to say to me other than "we don't know!"
Last week one officer said I was committing an offense under section 7 civic government act 1982 and could arrest and charge me with an offense if he wanted, he didn't but told me to leave the area.
I am registered with my own local authority as a fish trader with all the relevant documentation and carry this with me at all times although the police never ask to see it.
All I want to do is to make a living and I also have repeat customers who expect me to call every 12/16 weeks.
Am I allowed even to call to their addresses without being in fear of any prosecution?
I have read a lot of stuff on the Internet and the law seems very unclear and contradictory to the interpretation of what is street trading, what is peddling, what you need a street traders/peddlers licence for and what not?
Could you please help clarify and offer any information of how I can negotiate this dilemma as I simply cannot afford street traders licenses for every authority I visit and would more likely be refused one losing any monies I would have forwarded as well?
Kind regards, ***** ***** England.
Thank you for your question. I am a Scots lawyer and will help you with this.
As you are not trading from a van or a market stall, you do not need a street traders license and you do not need a pedlars license.
The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1981 doesn't apply. From your narrative, it certainly does seem that the police were unsure of themselves. That is because you were not committing a crime as you are selling privately door to door.
I hope this helps.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for the reply.

can you advise me of anything i should say/quote if i am questioned by the police or asked what evidence i have, to say that what i am doing is legal?

You should just tell them that you're not committing an offence.
There's nothing in the Civic Government Act that requires you to have a licence as you're not trading on the street from a van not are you a market trader.
A pedlars licence isn't needed as again your business is not being transacted in a public place.
You don't need to explain yourself to the police. The onus is on them to establish that you are operating illegally. You don't need evidence. You can't be asked to prove a negative in other words.
JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi there, may i speak with you again?

Yes. Post as a new question and specifically ask for me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ah, ive already posted the question on your profile, ill do it again.