The City of Edinburgh Council regulates certain activities under the following Acts;

  • The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982
  • Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

The Edinburgh Licensing Board is responsible for issuing licenses for the sale of alcohol and gambling purposes, under the following Acts:

  • Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Gambling (Scotland) Act 2005

Each Local Authority under The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 has the option of licensing a number of different activities if they fall within their jurisdiction. In addition, there are certain activities for which a licence is a mandatory requirement. For simplicity, The City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Licensing Board respectfully, has categorised each Licence-type into the following groups; Alcohol/Gambling (for which Edinburgh Licensing Board are responsible), Taxi and Private Hire, Animal Licences’, Shop/Trader Licences’, Leisure/Entertainment/Parades and HMO.

Alcohol  Licences

  • Premises – If selling alcohol from a Shop, Bar or Restaurant
  • Occasional – if selling alcohol at a one-
  • Personal – for an individual working as a manager at a Licensed premises

More information can be found at:

Gambling Licences

  • Premises – this is required for running a betting shop, track or trading room.

Further information on Gambling Licences can be found at the Gambling Commission website:

Taxi/Private Hire Licences

  • Taxi/Private Hire Car
  • Taxi/Private HireCar Driver
  • Booking Office – Required if taking bookings for a fleet of 3 or more vehicles

 More information can be found at;  

 Any vehicle used for Taxi or Private Hire service, and the driver operating the vehicle must hold a valid licence issued by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Animal Licences/Registration                                          

  • Animal Boarding
  • Riding Establishments
  • Dog Breeding
  • Zoo Licences
  • Performing Animalsregistration

More information can be found at:

A premises which operates any of the above mentioned activities will require a Licence.

Shop/Trader Licence’s

  • Firework Sale
  • Late Hours Catering
  • Market Operator
  • Knife dealer
  • Metal Dealer
  • Pet Shop
  • Second Hand Dealer
  • Sex Shop
  • Skin Piercing & Tattooing
  • Window Cleaner
  • Street Trader

More information can be found at:

If a premise or individual is undertaking any of the above activities, will require a licence.


Leisure / Entertainment / Parades


  • Cinema
  • Theatre
  • Boat Hire
  • Firework Display
  • Public Entertainment
  • Hypnotism
  • Indoor Sports
  • Parades

More information can be found at:

Any premises, event or organisation hosting/co-ordinating any of the above activities may require a licence.

 Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)                                  

This licence is required for a property which houses 3 or more, unrelated persons.

More information can be found at;

Other activities


  • Public Charitable Collection
  • Public processions / Demonstrations – there is no licence requirement for this activity however you must gain permission from the Council if you are seeking to hold a non-static procession/demonstration.

More information can be found at:

Additional Information

The majority of licences can be issued for a duration of 1-3 years, depending on the specific licence type. Furthermore, temporary licences can be issued for a period of up to 28 days, with some exceptions with regards to licence type.   Please note that no trading can commence until Licence has been granted.

To apply for a licence the relevant application form must be completed and returned to the council with the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. For further information/guidance please visit the council website;