Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Art gallery: Licences


There are no licensing requirements relating specifically to gallery owners.

You should, however, be aware of the following:

  • if background music is played in the gallery you will probably need a Music Licence from PPL PRS Ltd for the public use of copyright music
  • if credit facilities are offered to consumers then you will need consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

If you intend to have a café or restaurant on your premises then you'll need to register as a food business with your local environmental health department.

Money laundering

Money Laundering Regulations require 'high value dealers' who transact sums of 10,000 euros or more in cash as part of their business to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and to keep certain records relating to all such transactions. There is more information available on the Gov.uk website.

Licensing of second-hand dealers

Local authorities in Scotland require dealers in second-hand goods (which could include artworks that are not being sold for the first time by the artist) to obtain a licence or registration to operate. This applies unless dealing in second-hand goods is only incidental to the main business activity. Elsewhere in the UK, some local authorities license or register businesses (with some specific exceptions) where second-hand dealing is the main or a significant part of the business and is not just incidental. 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.