Dog breeding licence

Activities that require a licence

A licence is required:

  • if you are breeding 3 or more litters of puppies per year (unless you can show that none of the puppies have been sold)
  • or, if you are breeding puppies and advertising a business of selling them (this is irrespective of the number of litters produced per year and can apply to individuals as well as registered businesses)

Factors or activities that would be classed as business activities:

  • The number, frequency and/or volume of sales - systematic and repeated transactions using the same means of advertising.
  • High volumes of animals sold or advertised for sale.
  • Low volumes of animals sold or advertised where high sales prices or large profit margins are involved. 
  • High range and variability in the breeds traded. A wide variety of breeds being advertised.
  • High numbers of advertisements of puppies for sale, including on classified websites, could indicate commercial behaviour, even where there is no actual sale taking place via the Internet. This could be high numbers of advertisements at any one time or over a short period of time, and/or regularly. 
  • Advertising through a variety of sites, forums or media.
  • Whether the operator makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit.
  • Whether the operator earns any commission or fee from the activity.

Anyone with a trading income of less than £1,000 should not be considered to be operating a business.