Local authorities in Scotland require second-hand dealers - including antique dealers - to obtain a licence or registration to operate. Elsewhere in the UK, some local authorities license or register businesses where second-hand dealing is the main or a significant part of the business and is not just incidental, although certain specific exemptions generally apply (for example jewellers). Businesses which hold consumer credit authorisation are normally also exempt. If you are in any doubt as to whether second-hand dealer licensing may apply to your business, contact your local authority trading standards department for guidance.
Export controls require an export licence to be obtained for cultural objects like antiques over certain age and value limits if they are to be exported from the UK. Full details are available from the Arts Council Export Licensing Unit. The Arts Council provides several guidance publications for exporters - you can find out more and download publications from the Arts Council website. There's also useful information about export licensing available from the Cultural Property Advice section of the Collections Trust website.
The Money Laundering Regulations apply to 'high value dealers', including antique dealers, who make payments of or accept the equivalent of 10,000 euros in cash for any single transaction. If you handle transactions of this size you must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and put in place anti-money laundering systems.
If you plan to import or export certain restricted goods made from endangered species of plants or animals then you'll need a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) licence. You can read about CITES licences on the Gov.uk website.
Be aware too that there are licensing issues relating to dealing in and exporting antique and historic firearms and weapons. Home Office guidance on firearms law, including information about antique firearms, is available on the Gov.uk website.
Selling general insurance
Anyone who sells, advises on, arranges or assists in selling general insurance may need to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) even if insurance is only a small part of their business. Businesses affected by this legislation must be either directly regulated by the FCA or an appointed representative of an FCA regulated insurer. Contact the FCA for further information.