There are no licensing requirements relating specifically to tool hire businesses.
You should, however, be aware of the following:
- if you intend to hire or lease out any items on a long-term basis (longer than three months) to consumers you may need consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- if you sell, advise on, arrange or assist in selling insurance (for example, insurance cover against theft or damage of large, expensive tools) you may need to be regulated by the FCA even if insurance is only a small part of your business. If this applies to your business you have the choice of becoming directly authorised by the FCA or, more probably, an 'appointed representative' of an authorised principal. Contact the FCA for further information
- you will need an operator's licence (a goods vehicle operator's licence in Northern Ireland) if you use any vehicles with a gross plated weight of 3.5 tonnes (or more than 1,525 kg if they are not plated). A 'restricted category' licence is sufficient for operators who only carry their own goods. Drivers must also be appropriately licensed. More information is available on the Gov.uk website and from the Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) section of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) website (Northern Ireland)
- businesses which keep records of individuals' personal details may need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). From May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation has introduced additional protection for personal data
- if background music is played in the hire shop you will probably need a Music Licence from PPL PRS Ltd. There is an annual fee for this which you can pay online on the PPL PRS website