Aerial and satellite installers don't have to be licensed or registered by law. So if you're just going to fit and repair television aerials, satellite dishes and similar equipment then you may not have to do anything further.
However, you may need to be aware of the following:
- before erecting a scaffold on or over a public highway, you are obliged by law to obtain a permit from your local highway authority. Some local authorities also require you to obtain a scaffolding permit before putting up a scaffold in a public place. If you use a specialist scaffolder, they will often take responsibility for arranging any scaffolding permits needed. For more information, contact your local authority planning department or environmental health department
- if you offer credit facilities to consumers (for example for the purchase of expensive television equipment) then you'll need consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- if you keep computerised records of individuals' personal details - perhaps for the purposes of credit finance - you may be required to register as a data user with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) unless you are covered by an exemption
- if you offer an insurance backed warranty - even if you make no extra charge for this - then you will be covered by general insurance legislation regulated by the FCA (this also applies to other general insurance products if you sell or advise on them)
You might decide to do some types of work - for example installing certain types of CCTV system - that involve mains electrical wiring.
Electricians who work on domestic premises must where necessary carry out the work to the standards of Part P of the Building Regulations. To avoid having to get each job approved and inspected by Building Control, it's possible to register as an approved 'competent person' who can self-certify their own work. More information about the Building Regulations and approved competent person schemes is available on the Gov.uk website. You can find out more about Building Regulations in Northern Ireland on the Department of Finance website.
Television dealers were previously required to register with TV Licensing and pass on to them details of each relevant sale. However, this requirement was removed in 2013. Dealers do not require a television licence to display, demonstrate, repair and test television equipment at their premises. They do need a licence though if they use television for other purposes - for example for staff to watch in a staff room. Television dealers can contact TV Licensing to register as exempt from the normal television licensing requirement.
Waste carrier registration
You will need to register as a lower tier waste carrier (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or a professional collector or transporter of waste (Scotland) if you carry away waste that you have generated in the course of an installation. Registration is free of charge and lasts indefinitely. Note that the lower tier registration does not cover building waste - if you carry this in the course of your work then you will need to pay for upper tier registration (or the equivalent in Scotland).
Waste carrier registration is carried out by:
- the Environment Agency in England
- Natural Resources Wales
- the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- the Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Many would-be customers, particularly contractors like other aerial installers or builders, will want to satisfy themselves that your business does good quality work. One way of demonstrating this is to get your skills certified. The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) certifies anyone working in the electrical industry. The scheme includes a section for aerial and satellite installers. You can find out more about the ECS card for aerial installers on the ECS website.
The Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) requires applicants for membership to undergo an assessment process to check that they comply with CAI standards before being accepted into membership. Members must demonstrate that they work to standards outlined in the CAI Codes of Practice and British Standards.
The Registered Digital Institute (RDI) focuses on enabling trained, qualified and experienced installers to become affiliated to an industry-recognised authority. All RDI members must qualify to be accepted into the Institute and must meet the requirements set out in a code of conduct. There is more information on the RDI website.