Dog breeding licence

Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period and/or breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs will require a licence.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have a current licence. If you operate without a licence or fail to follow licensing conditions, you may face a fine and/imprisonment.

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or animal introduction area or in a home environment shown to any potential purchasers.

If you are looking to purchase a puppy and don't see one, ask 'why?' and try to find somewhere that is licensed.

Licence summary

A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.


To apply, vary or renew a licence, you must comply with the licence conditions and guidance.

For an application please contact:

Licensing Partnership
PO Box 182
TN13 1GP

Or email

The Licensing Partnership will write to you at least three months before your licence expires, to remind you to renew it. You must apply for a renewal licence at least 10 weeks before the current licence expires if you wish to continue to operate without a break in trading.

Fees and charges

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 - Keeping of a breeding establishment for dogs

  • new licence application £769
  • renewal of licence £694
  • mid-term licence visit (recharged to licence holder) £160
  • re-assessment of star rating £160
  • complaint visit (recharged to licence holder) £160
  • duplicate licence £25.50
  • minor variation (minor changes to licence not requiring site visit) £170
  • major variation (more substantial changes to licence requiring a site visit) £421
  • general admin charge - for work on applications which cannot be resolved/made valid (to be deducted from any refund of application fee - where this exceeds the application fee then no refund shall be given) £46

Eligibility criteria

You need to be eligible to apply for a licence, you will find information on persons who may not apply in the regulation summary below.

Regulation summary

The regulation relating to animal activities requiring a licence

Application Evaluation Process

Fees will be payable for applications and conditions will be attached.

The licence runs for one to three years from the date of issue.

You will receive a one to five-star rating on your licence, with a five-star rating the highest possible. The rating will be an accurate reflection of the level of risk of your business and the animal welfare standards you adopt.

Once we grant a licence, there are separate procedures for varying, suspending or revoking it as well as requesting a review of your star rating.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact the Licensing Partnership.

Failed application redress

If we refuse your application, The Licensing Partnership will notify you in writing stating the grounds for refusal. You will have 28 days following the notice of refusal to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Gov.UK website).

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