Pet shop licence


A pet shop is a building where animals are sold as pets and this includes your own home. You will also need a licence if you are selling pet animals over the internet.

You cannot sell animals as pets in public places, for example from a market stall.

However you do not need a licence to sell:

  • Pedigree animals that you have bred. Note if you breed dogs and produce more than three litters per year you will need a Breeding Establishment Licence
  • Animals that are the offspring of your own pet


Applicants for a pet shop licence must not be disqualified from keeping a pet shop.

Animal welfare conditions will be attached to the licence.

  • Animals will be kept in accommodation that is suitable regarding size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness
  • Animals will be supplied with adequate food, drink, and bedding material
  • Animals will be adequately exercised and visited regularly
  • Precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infections
  • Plans in place in case of fire or other emergency
  • Age of the mammals so they are not sold when they are too young

The sale of certain species in pet shops is of particular concern. These include dogs, cats and exotic (non-domesticated) mammals such as meerkats and primates. Concerns stem from the inability to provide for the welfare needs of these animals in a typical pet shop environment, for example, the ability to adequately and appropriately socialise puppies and kittens, as well as, in the case of exotics, the suitability of these species to be sold as pets to members of the public. Therefore the sale of these animals is not permitted in pet shops licensed by Southampton.

Licence expiry

Licences expire on December 31 and must be renewed each year before the due date.

How to apply

Please read the Guidance notes for conditions for selling animals to ensure you can comply with the licence conditions.

If you wish to apply for a licence please complete the application form.

Apply for a Pet Shop licence


The fee is £305.00, which you must submit with your application form.

Note: This fee is non-refundable

Paying the licence fee

You can make a Debit or Credit card payment online via the council's secure online payment service. You are not required to register to use this service. Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.


Before you make a payment

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself a couple of minutes to fill in the form.

You will need:

  • Payment card (registered with 3D secure)

Pay for a Pet Shop licence

Change of circumstance

You must notify us of any change of circumstances. This includes the surrendering of your licence or any other material change to the licence or how you operate. There is a fee due in respect of any change that requires a new licence to be issued.

How long will my application take to process?

We aim to determine applications within 28 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment. If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not automatically be granted due to animal welfare implications.

Public register

There is no legal requirement to keep a register. If you want to know if a premises is licenced please contact us.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

You cannot start trading until your application has been processed by Southampton City Council and you have received your licence. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days please email


Please read the Guidance notes for conditions for selling animals as pets which provide more information.