You will need this licence if you plan to use tables and chairs outside your business

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has made provisions for a new Pavement Licence to support economic recovery and growth and fast track some aspects of planning as the UK recovers from the disruption caused by COVID-19. These changes are temporary to support businesses while social distancing measures are still in place. The Pavement Licence will only be available until the 30th September 2021 and does not replace the existing Tables and Chairs Licence.
Visit this page if you would like to apply for a pavement licence

If you are a business such as a restaurant, bar or café, under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 you need permission to place tables and chairs on the public highway.

The placing of tables and chairs, or the sale or display of goods/receptacles without the required licence is an offence under section 137 and 149 of the Highways Act 1980 and section 38 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990. It carries a maximum fine of £1,000 upon conviction.

Do it online

Costs for this service

The total cost for this service is calculated as follows:

Your application fee + the cost of your actual licence

Online applications

The application fee for applying for a licence using our online portal is £111, and applications must be submitted before the 1st April each year.

The discounted online application fee recognises the lower administration costs associated with processing the electronic online application rather than a postal application.

Please note: that the fee for the application does not cover the cost of the licence, both fees must be paid in full before a licence can be issued to you.

If you experience any issues processing your online application, please email

Online application queries

For any issues please visit 'report issue on tables and chairs license' below to let us know of any difficulties you are having with applying online. If you have any questions about the online application process or required documents for your application please refer to the 'What you need to know section' before completing a query form

Report issue on tables and chairs license

Terms and conditions

Tables and chairs licences terms and conditions

The cost of your licence

When calculating the total amount you will have to pay for your Tables and Chairs licence keep the following points in mind:

*The first two chairs are free *The cost of each chair depends on the banding of the road your business is on. Find out which band your business is in using our road list. *After 7pm there is an hourly charge for each chair

Road Band Total cost per chair up until 7pm Hourly cost per chair from 7pm onwards
A £51 per chair £16.50 per hour
B £35 per chair £9.75 per hour
C £24.50 per chair £5.75 per hour

The formula is: (Total number of chairs – 2) x (Banding cost) + application fee

If you will have chairs our after 7pm, then the next step to this is:

(Cost per hour x the number of hours you are opened after 7pm) + application fee.

What you need to know...

What documents do I need to provide?

To apply for your licence you will need to provide us with the following:

  • Proof of address: recent utility bill – Gas, Electricity, Water (should be dated within last 3 months), current Council Tax Bill or Bank or Building Society or Statement (should be dated within last 3 months).
  • Public liability insurance: public liability insurance provides cover against claims made by members of the public or clients who have suffered an injury or damage (including their property) in connection to your business.
  • Proof of national insurance: you can find this on your: payslip, your P60 or on letters about your tax, pension or benefits.
  • Proof of premises address
  • A sketch or layout of the area you wish to place your tables and chairs. This document should illustrate that there is enough clearance for pedestrians, in line with the required space stated in your application.

I only have one table and two chairs how much do I need to pay?

As we do not charge for the first 2 chairs, in instances like this you will only have to pay the application fee.

I’ve submitted my licence application what happens next?

Following a new licence application we will carry out a site visit. When inspecting a site we will take into account:

  • street furniture or anything that may cause an obstruction if the licence is granted
  • how busy the street is
  • historical existence of trading.

Once we have done this, we the consult with:

  • our Transport and Highways department
  • Transport for London, if the premises is on a red route and
  • neighbours who live immediately above or beside the premises

This can take up to 21 days which is why we encourage you to apply for your licence with plenty of time in advance of you needing it.

If you have had a licence before and you’re merely renewing your licence you may not be subject to a site inspection. However, if your renewal request is in any way different to the previous year’s, we will likely arrange for a visit to be carried out before your licence is issued. The Council will routinely check premises to make sure that what is displayed on-street accurately matches what is stated on your licence application.

How long does the licence last?

A licence is temporary lasting a maximum of one year. The year starts on 1 April and finishes on 31 March regardless of when the licence was issued. The licence fee is fixed regardless of the amount of time between when you applied for the licence and its expiry date on 31 March.A licence can be withdrawn if valid complaints are received after the licence has been granted, or if you breach the terms and conditions of the licence.

The place where I want to have my tables and chairs is on private land, do I still require a licence?

In short. Yes. Section 21 of the London Local Authorities Act 1990 defines a "street" for the purposes of licensing amenities on the public highway. For further information please contact us on 020 7926 9000 If you feel that your tables and chairs or goods are located on land which you consider to be private property, legal documentation supporting this must be submitted.