There are no specific licences that you will need to work as a paver, so if your business activities are going to fall within the usual range of services offered by this type of business you may not need to do anything further.
If you are going to transport building waste (which is classified as a controlled waste and includes material such as old concrete, rubble and asphalt planings), you will need a certificate of registration as an upper tier waste carrier (or the equivalent in Scotland). This is issued by the Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). It currently costs about £155 (a bit more in Scotland, a little less in Northern Ireland) for the initial registration fee and a further renewal fee of about £105 every three years. Note that a single licence is issued to your business covering all of your waste transporting vehicles.
You should also be aware of the following:
- if credit finance is offered to private customers you will normally need consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (interest free credit agreements can be exempt from the authorisation requirement under certain circumstances)
- skips placed on a public highway require a Skip Permit from the local authority. Certain conditions may be attached to the licence. Normally the skip hire company will arrange the necessary licences, but it is worth making certain of this
- if you offer an insurance backed warranty - even if you make no extra charge for this - then you may be covered by general insurance legislation administered by the FCA. Businesses whose activities are covered by the legislation need to be either directly authorised by the FCA or an 'appointed representative' of a principal FCA authorised insurer
- if your business operates goods vehicles with a gross plated weight of more than 3.5 tonnes (or unladen weight more than 1,525 kg for unplated vehicles) then it will need a goods vehicle operator licence in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland you may need a goods vehicle operator's licence from the Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI). More information about goods vehicle operator licensing is available from the Gov.uk website - and from the DfI in Northern Ireland
Many would-be customers and particularly main contractors will want to satisfy themselves that your business does good quality work using suitable materials. One way of demonstrating your commitment to quality is to gain certification for your workmanship. Various different certification schemes exist, including the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), British Standards Institution (BSI) 'Kitemark' licences and the ISO quality standard. Relevant British Standards include BS 7533, which covers the laying specification for block paving. Some main contractors may also stipulate that paving sub-contractors belong to Interlay, the Association of Paving Contractors. Interlay offers approved member contractors its Seal of Approval certification and requires them to stick to its code of practice.
Although it's not mandatory for operators of plant machinery to hold a skills registration card, it's a good way of showing that your business complies with the requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act for plant operators to be suitably trained. More and more contractors, clients and sites only permit plant operatives who hold a valid skills registration card or 'ticket'. The skills development body CITB offers one of the best known card schemes, the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS). You can find out more about the CPCS on the CITB website.
Paving businesses that want to demonstrate to would-be customers that they are honest, professional and take fair trading and quality seriously can apply to join a certification scheme such as TrustMark or Buy with Confidence - Trading Standards Approved.