Market operator licence

A market operator licence is required for the carrying on a private market.

A "private market" means a market, whether covered or not, carried on by any person other than a local or public authority at which goods are offered by more than one seller for sale by retail to the public. It includes car boot sales within Aberdeenshire that are not for charitable purposes.

We may impose conditions on the licence, including conditions fixing the days and hours of opening; the provision of adequate toilet facilities, the layout of the site or premises on which the market is to be held; and the maintenance of order and public safety. You will not need a Market Operator's Licence if the market relates to a function held by charitable, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or other organisations; or, for markets held only for the sale of livestock, fodder or grain.

Before you apply

You must obtain the prior, written consent of the landowner to operate the market.

You may also require permission under planning legislation to operate the market.

We may ask you to provide a layout plan of the market, which must be drawn to scale. We will do this, if we think it is appropriate, once you have lodged your application with us.

More information can be found in the following documents:


You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.

You must not have had an application refused for the same licence within the 12 months prior to making your application, unless you have had a material change in circumstances.

Application fee

The fee for a market operator licence is £285.50. The fee must be paid at the same time the application for the licence is lodged with us otherwise we won't be able to progress it. The fee is non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

How to apply

You can apply for a market operator licence onlinehowever we may require additional information to supplement the Scottish system.

Alternatively you can apply in paper by completing the market operator application form (PDF 226KB). Please send your competed form by email to or by post to, please note physical mail is only checked once a week:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ

If you are unable to complete the forms, please call us and we will assist you to apply over the telephone.

Displaying a site notice

At the same time as lodging your application for a licence, you must display the appropriate site notice (PDF 85KB), at the location from which your business is to operate, for a period of 21 days.

Thereafter, you must submit a certificate of compliance (PDF 69KB) to us, stating that the site notice was correctly displayed, or explaining why you were unable to display the site notice.

Failure to provide the necessary information and documentation, or the application fee, will result in the inability to further process the application.

Application process

Full approval will not be granted until the required information and documentation has been provided, examined and deemed satisfactory, and the application has been fully processed.

You are not permitted to operate a business as a market operator, until such time as a market operator licence has been issued to you.

We will send a copy of your application to the Police, the Firemaster, Planning Services, Building Services, and Environmental Health (our consultees). In the absence of objections or adverse representations, your licence will be issued to you under delegated authority.

Where objections or adverse representations are made, your application will be referred to the appropriate Committee of Aberdeenshire Council for consideration.

Duration of the licence

If granted, your licence will come into effect on the date specified on the licence. Licences are normally granted for 3 years, unless a shorter period is specified.