Metal dealer licence

A metal dealer licence is required for the carrying on business as a metal dealer. You may require permission under planning legislation to operate a business as a metal dealer.

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

Please view guidance notes for metal dealers (PDF 50KB) before submitting your licence application.

Tax checks and your tax obligations

From 2nd October 2023 you need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when applying to renew your licence.

Find out more about the tax checks and when they are required.

If you are not required to complete a tax check, on the application form we will ask you to confirm you are aware of the HMRC guidance. Find out more about confirming you understand your tax responsibilities

Keeping records

A dealer must keep in relation to each business premises, separate records of metal received/acquired and metal despatched/processed/disposed of. Similar records must be kept in respect of all metal dealt with at any place other than the dealer’s normal business premises. Records may be in ledger or modern computerised form and must be kept for a period not less than 3 years from the date of the last entry.

Record details – Acquisition

Records must specify:

  • description and weight of metal
  • date and time of acquisition
  • name and address from whom metal was acquired
  • the means of verifying that person’s name and address and copying the documents
  • the buying price (if known at the date of entry or if not known the estimated value)
  • the method of payment (with a copy of the cheque or document showing electronic payment)
  • the registration mark of the delivery vehicle

Record details – Disposal

Records must specify:

  • description and weight of the metal immediately before dispatch
  • the date and the name and address of the person purchasing the metal
  • the means of verifying that person’s name and address and copying the documents
  • the consideration for which it is sold or exchanged
  • if no consideration is received the value immediately before disposal, as estimated by the
    metal dealer
  • if processed, the process applied

Application fee

The fee for a metal dealer licence is £187 and 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 metal dealers licence onlinehowever we may require additional information to supplement the Scottish system.

Alternatively you can apply in paper by completing the relevant application form:

Please send your competed form by email to or by post, 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 metal dealer, until such time as a metal dealer licence has been issued to you.

We will send a copy of your application to Police Scotland, 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.