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After being to some of the best markets and events the summer has to offer, tasted some great foods, bought some jewellery and seen some great homemade pieces on some of the stalls at the event, maybe you now feel inspired to showcase and sell some of your own products on a stall of your very own.

An Introductory Guide To Setting Up A Market Stall

It may be something that you have always wanted to do, or that new venture you’ve been searching for, but setting up a stall is something that can be great fun and if done right can be a great success. But you may be sitting there thinking what do I need to do to set up a market stall?

Of course, it can be difficult to know where to get started when venturing into the unknown. With this in mind, here are 5 of our top points you need to get organised before you can get out there.



If you are to operate a stall, local councils will require you to get a street trading licence. This is an essential requirement that councils need you to have before you can start trading. There are two types of street trading licences: temporary and permanent.

A temporary or a casual licence will allow you to trade on a casual basis until you are able to qualify for a permanent licence. To be eligible for a permanent licence, you will normally be required to have had a temporary or casual license prior to applying for a permanent.


As a stallholder, you will be considered as a self-employed person. This means that you must register yourself for self-assessment within three months of starting trading.
This can be done online at HM Revenue & Customs, or over the phone and needs to be done within the first three months of trading. If you don’t, you could end up receiving a hefty fine. You will also be required to sort out your N.I contributions.
After your first year of trading you will be required to submit your accounts to the HMRC. By keeping you accounts in order will make things run much smoother. You can find out more on the HMRC website


Whether your stall is your main source of income or just a side project, having insurance in place can provide you some protection if something were to go wrong. The last thing you need is the stress of an incident occurring that puts your stall and/or business at a risk.

Insurance for stalls can cover Public Liability, Employers Liability, and Stock & Stand Insurance.
Public liability is usually the most requested cover. It is often taken out to meet the needs of the venue, the event organiser or a local authority, covering you for damage you do to other people’s property, or if you somehow injure someone.

Employers liability is a level of cover that is often overlooked. It can provide cover for your legal liability to pay for damages and claimant costs and expenses which come from an incident resulting in an injury to anyone you are supervising to work on your stall.
Stock and stand cover, also known as equipment insurance, provides cover for your equipment for any accidental damage, loss or theft of stock whilst at the event.

Budgets and costs

It is important to work to a budget, whilst taking all costs into account including. You should keep a note of the various costs to create your product, the amount of travel costs you have, vehicle hire if you require this, the cost of your stalls pitch and any other expenditures related to your business.

Once you have taken your costs into account, you can start setting prices for your product. However, market prices are normally expected to be relatively low in comparison to high street shops. If your prices higher than stores, this may discourage shoppers to purchase your products from your stall. If you have considered every costs and struggle to keep your prices below market ranges then it is possible that a market stall is not the right course of action.

Trading Standards Guidelines and Legislations:

Acting as a trader, it will be your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of trading standards and any legislation in place, making adhere to any laws, working with a good ethic. An aspect of legislation that will be important to address is the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, and that the products you are selling are not misleading to customers as to what they are spending their money on.

Starting up a stall can be an exciting venture, but to get things started in the right direction it is important that you adhere to laws and legislations, and get advice from your local council to make sure you set up things right.

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