ALL TRADERS are classed as a business and must have a risk assessment in place. In respect of what you have to do, it’s really up to you and the risk assessment you are required to put in place for each event (not just LSM).

As long as you have assessed the risks in regards to your own stall and how you are prepared to deal with them is all I ask for as checking it for each business is too onerous and could put the liability onto us. 

This is the risk assessment NMTF have as a guide.

Current guidelines from the government (from 4th July 2020) can be found here

Advice from NMTF can be found here.

You have a legal responsibility to make sure that your goods are of merchantable quality and are fit for purpose. You must comply with all trading and business regulations. You must be able to give receipts and your address and contact details. You should be aware of and stick to specific regulations that may have an effect upon your business e.g. The VCRA and regulations on the sale of knives and blades, licensing laws and food hygiene and trading laws.

This site is dedicated to helping small businesses. They review tools all small businesses need and publish a library of content to help small business owners make the most of the Internet. They have a lot of useful articles including a great number of topics that just doesn’t cover


All event organisers should have their own PLI and I assure you I do. It's part of my insurer's terms and conditions that all my traders have their own else it renders mine invalid.

You should think twice about trading at ANY event that says you don't need any of your own unless if they can prove you're covered under their own.

On sending me your proof of PLI, I need the bit that will be called Statement of Insurance or Certificate of Insurance. This is the page that shows your trading name or your own name and the dates the policy cover runs from and to. If you have membership with places like A&N, The Stallholders Club, NMTF, Axisweb etc they do PLI cover as part of their membership. The PLI is in the name of the membership association, not your individual name and runs for the dates of the tax year. This means your cover runs for the dates that you are a member so for this you need to send me the proof of your membership.

Here is a list of companies used by our traders but just search online as there are many others. - £38 for a year - You do have to meet the criteria though - With Axisweb Membership it includes FREE Public & Product Liability Insurance. And you get FREE Professional Indemnity Insurance. Plus it's underwritten by Hiscox. Only £25 per year or £2.50 per month They even do one day membership if you just need the PLI for the day

G M Imber £55 price not changed in years. Easy to sort. I think its called the craft start insurance. It does depend on craft and takings. covers Employers Liablity too NMTF no restrictions, brilliant help & advice, £10 million cover. £112 a year. You get loads of extras.

Simply Business it's £12 a month dd and apparently very simple to do - Hayes Parsons at £56

This place does one day insurance for around £27. Useful if you're just starting out and not sure if events are the way for you as opposed to selling online


We will do everything in our power to ensure that traders have a successful event but cannot be held responsible for damage or theft of traders’ stock, interruption of power or services, or anything else beyond our control. LSM does not provide insurance cover for theft or damage to traders’ stock and recommends that traders adequately insure themselves against all risks. It is a condition of booking that traders understand and accept that they cannot hold us responsible for any losses they sustain.

LSM accepts no liability for the loss of or damage to traders' work, neither during the event, nor during setting-up or dismantling. 

Further information is on this tab.


You must hold a Personal Licence (like the ones held by people who run an off licence or pub) if you sell anything alcoholic (whether bottled as loose stock, in a gift basket/hamper or an ingredient in your cakes or preserves for example). Most venues do not sell alcohol so you will need to contact the relevant council to apply for a Temporary Event licence (TENS) to sell on that premises. This not usually very expensive so recommend you check it out first before contacting us to trade. We welcome all varieties of products such as steampunk gin, interesting variations of other spirits and mead etc.

Please factor the cost of this and time it takes to sort out before you consider applying to trade. You need to contact me first before contacting the council as I may have more than one person selling alcohol and all names must be included on the same TENS (Temporary Event Notice).



What are the rules about testing and labelling?

Basically anything that you sell which is applied to the skin, be it soaps, lotions or balms needs to be tested and certified. If you make homemade products you will need them certified by a cosmetic chemist that they are safe to use on the skin otherwise you could be in serious trouble with big fines. 

All cosmetic products supplied in the UK, whether for consumer or professional use, must comply with the  EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. The EU Regulation is enforced by trading standards in the UK by the Cosmetic Product Enforcement Regulations 2013.

Download this guide to the regulations for a full explanation of them. This site here gives a good explanation on your legalities.

More advice offered on here as well.

You should also consider the food imitation regulations, which outline the requirements all companies must meet when placing non-food items that look like food onto the European market.

I need to know that you have a safety assessment for your soaps that you have on sale. As long as you're able to state that you have assessments for all your soaps as I understand the assessments themselves contain commercially sensitive information which you only disclose to Trading Standards and the relevant authorities via the EU cosmetics notification portal.

Please ensure you carry this paperwork with you on the day in case we get spot checked.


I have been advised there was a law change in 2013 that changed the rules from needing to do simple cosmetic safety assessments to registering products via an EU portal. It’s fine if you do it all the time, but if you’re part-time or you do it as a hobby business, then the costs (mainly in terms of time as you can do it yourself apart from the lab bit if you understand the system, but it’s difficult if you don’t understand the terminology so many people pay others to do it, and that runs into a LOT of money) – there’s no single ‘certificate’ or piece of paper that says you can do x, and no central body to issue them in any case, it’s just a product-by-product approvals process that’s predominantly digital and doesn’t really have anything convenient or understandable to show for it – which is where the insurance side comes in, as the insurer checks all that before issuing the insurance.


This is another one that you need to be aware of. 

From 1st June 2015 the CLP (Classification, Labelling, Packaging) regulations came into force which essentially means that anyone who sells scented candles, wax melts, room diffusers etc MUST comply with new legislation around labelling.  This states that anything which is designated a mixture (in essence for the purposes of candles etc, it means anything with fragrance and/or dye) must be labelled in accordance with CLP regulations.

Go to this site here for more information and this document here for candle making advice.

Update: just found this link as well for more information - it also links to this.


All toys, including handmade toys, need to be CE marked (see here for more information) including those sold for or donated to charity. If you make toys at home on a small scale (for example to make some extra money from your hobby, or whilst looking after children), you will still need to CE mark your toys, but don’t be put off – you should be able to complete most of the requirements yourself with little or no expense. You don't need to notify or register with anyone, the process is entirely self-regulating. Go to this site here for further information and also this one here. There is also a Facebook group here that offers advice.


This could be something of a minefield if you're not careful!

Electrical equipment that doesn’t meet any of the accepted hierarchy of standards, perhaps because it is an innovative product, must still comply with the basic requirement to be safe.

Once you are satisfied that your product meets the requirements of the regulations, you should affix CE marking to the equipment. Or, where that’s not possible - to the packaging, the instruction sheet or the guarantee certificate.

You should also draw up a EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and compile technical documentation.

If in doubt, give your local Trading Standards Office a call to ask their opinion but this is what I've found out so far.

As far as making a body then fitting bought in parts to it to make a working item there are no Laws / Rules / Regulations nationally in England or locally that says electrical items must be inspected and/or tested before they are offered for sale to the general public providing the following conditions are fulfilled.

1. It is not a toy or designed for use by a child, IE the lampshade if fitted is not aimed at children or it is not sold as a nursery light etc

2. The electrical parts used are CE approved (bulb holder and in-line switch if fitted) or conform to the relevant British Standard (cable clamp, cable, plug, fuse).

3. These parts are not altered; fitting the flex does not constitute an alteration and is allowed.

4. In the case of table lamps the relevant type of cord clamp is fitted.

5. The correct size of fuse is fitted (recommend a 3 or 5 amp.)

6. It is safe, ie the lamp is stable and all components are securely and properly fitted

7. The correct labels are attached, max 60W bulb, CE & plug label.

Providing these conditions are met there is nothing to stop you selling table lamps or other electrical items..

It's recommended that you keep records of the parts purchased and in which items you've used them so in case of problems these could be traced back to the supplier/maker. A local qualified electrician can issue a certificate or get each and every item PAT tested, either of these would give you a certificate which would say it was safe at the time of testing. If you get them tested it would just be another safeguard if there was a problem. 

Go to here to ensure you're doing the right thing.


Even this is not excluded! Go to this site here for more information.



Food providers must comply with The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 & Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's National Guidance for Outdoor and Mobile Catering will help event organisers achieve compliance with the regulations. If you are preparing/and or cooking food then you will need to contact the Food Safety Team for further help and guidance. For further guidance contact the Food Safety Team at the relevant council.


(ADDED 2021)

Gerard Smithers ( works with a Virtual College who provide online Food Hygiene courses so get in touch with him for any up to date advice.

Fion McCormack also does the same sort of work where level 1, 2 and 3 for food hygiene and the level 2 only costs £10. 

These links here may be of help:


So in summary, you will need to:


• Do an online food hygiene certificate.

The course you need is Level 2 Food Safety in Catering (this is what was formerly Basic Food Hygiene) and you can find local trainers by going to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website and going to 'Coursefinder' and entering your postcode. If your local council offers this training they will appear on the search. Shop around as prices differ. There are various online courses but these are not always of the best quality so are best avoided it you can.

• Register with the council's environmental health dept. If the food you produce is so low risk, you may well not have any inspection for years at a time. (* See note further down)

Give your council environmental health dept a ring and ask for some advice on starting up a food business. An officer will usually arrange to visit, have a look at your kitchen and explain what you need to do. HOWEVER, this does depend where you live - some London councils don't give this advice any more due to staff shortage/cuts etc. If that's the case they will just advise you to register and then they will inspect you.

A separate fridge is advised if possible, if not then be aware of cross contamination from your own food. You don't have to label your own food, however you do need to make it clear which items are for the business and which are your personal items.

Pets need to be kept out of the kitchen (especially cats who may go on kitchen surfaces), and no laundry should be either done or stored in the kitchen when you are baking. Also suggested that any young children are also kept out of the kitchen while you are baking.

All surfaces in the kitchen should be easily cleanable (no unsealed wood) and you will need a means of disinfecting surfaces e.g. kitchen antibacterial spray.

They will also ask what sort of quantity of cakes you are planning and who you will supply them to.

You will need a basic written management system - look at the Food Standards Agency website for 'Safer Food Better Business' which means you need to check the temperature of your fridge so a fridge thermometer will be necessary.

• Notify your home insurance - if you don't have clients coming to the home and still baking with a domestic oven, there may be no change to your insurance with them.

• Buy Public Liability Insurance.

• Register with the Inland Revenue as a sole trader.

Note: if you get PLI and none of the others, if someone falls ill as a result of your cooking and you make a claim on the PLI, the lack of everything else may render the PLI invalid.

Food traders (both indoor and outdoor) MUST supply in addition to the checklist their contact address, trading address, food hygiene rating and local authority with whom they are registered. Proof of relevant documents/certificates must be supplied.

All food stalls should be registered with their local authority and have a food hygiene rating of 3 or above. They also need to comply with the national outdoor catering guide. This link here takes you to the outdoor catering checklist based on this national guidance and must be filled in by every food trader and indoor traders doing anything edible. We do not require the completed documentation to be sent to us nor to the council but this form will be used when inspecting the stalls, should Environmental Health Officers decide to attend the event.

As event organisers we insist on any trader doing something edible or drinkable to supply all of the above. In addition to this a personal Food Hygiene Certificate must be held. Proof of relevant documents/certificates must be supplied in advance.


All electrical items must be PAT tested if they are more than one year old. Please ensure you have all paperwork with you on the day and all electrical items showing an up to date sticker.

If your item is this new, please have your receipt of purchase with you to prove this.

This advice has been given from one of our traders who edited the best selling PAT Testing manual in the world - 

It’s a grey area, because the regulations are complex – and the law is vague.

The law doesn’t even mention PAT testing – it just states that all electrical equipment must be in a good state of repair and safe to use – but it’s impossible to know if that’s the case unless it has been tested, so if anything went wrong, and a company couldn’t prove the item had been tested in accordance with industry guidelines, they’d be royally screwed!

The guidelines in the 4th Edition of the IET regulations (which are the current industry guidelines) state that all items which are over 12 months old must be tested according to a schedule based on the type of equipment (e.g. moveable, portable, IT equipment, handheld equipment) and the environment it is used in (so, high rick environments like construction sites have more regular tests). There’s a table to give the testing frequency. Handheld appliances in high-risk environments like construction where appliances are more likely to get damaged need testing every 3 months, whereas low risk low voltage gear like IT equipment only need testing every 4 years, so long as they have a visual inspection for damage annually.

But, given how complex this is for most companies, they normally just stick with whatever their insurance company requires – and most of the main ones say once every 12 months after an appliance is 12 months old. 

At the end of the day, all traders MUST already have sorted out all paperwork required to trade prior to asking to have a pitch and making payment.

If you make payment first, I will assume you have all the required paperwork in hand or in the process of sorting it. Refunds are not given just because you thought you could get away with lacking any of the paperwork or because you were unable to get it sorted in time.

* Note regards food: 

On applying to the necessary authority, you will receive a letter saying something along the following lines:

Application for the Registration of a Food Business Establishment

(Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs, Article 6(2))

The above regulations require all food businesses to register with their Local Authority. Anyone starting a new food business must register at least 28 days before opening. Registration is free. The registration form can be found on the reverse of this letter. Once your form is complete, please sign and return it to the address shown above. You are allowed to commence trading once your form has been submitted, it is not necessary for you to await an inspection. The Regulations also require that you notify us of any changes to your registration such as, change of ownership, change of business name or address, change to the nature of the business or closure of the business.

It is an offence to operate unregistered food premises and it is your responsibility to ensure that your business is registered. 

High risk food businesses (such as caterers, cafes, restaurants, takeaways etc.) will be inspected on a regular basis. Low risk businesses (such as corner shops) may be visited less frequently or be required to complete a self-assessment form instead of being visited. Once your business has received an inspection it will be given a Food Hygiene Rating. In the meantime, if you would like to request an ‘awaiting inspection’ window sticker, please contact the service using the above contact details.

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