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A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Ice Cream License

By Nikita Nielsen · 14. February 2024

Looking to start an ice cream business?

Then you’ll need an ice cream license📄 to serve your chilled treats legally.

This guide takes you through the essential steps to secure your license, whether you’re serving scoops from a mobile van or a fixed parlour, while avoiding the regulatory missteps that could put your business on ice.

Ice Cream License Basics: What You Need to Know

starting ice cream business starting ice cream business

Securing the appropriate license is as crucial to your ice cream venture.

Whether you’re making the rounds in a whimsical ice cream truck or inviting customers into a charming parlour, each business model comes with its own set of regulations and licensing requirements.

Importance of Ice Cream Licenses

Ice cream licenses are a regulatory requirement for legally operating in specific trading locations and ensuring adherence to food safety standards.

Without proper registration, businesses risk facing significant penalties.

It’s essential to maintain high standards of personal hygiene and implement effective pest control measures to guarantee the safety of every product served.

Navigating Local Council Regulations

local council local council

Understanding local council regulations is a necessary step for legally operating an ice cream business.

Compliance with these rules is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure that your business operates smoothly.

Regulations can differ widely between local authorities, so it’s important to be well-informed about the specific requirements in your area.

Be mindful, penalties can result from violating these regulations. Therefore, acquainting yourself with the local rules before starting to sell is vital.

Registering with Your Local Council

Kickstarting your sweet journey requires registration with your local council at least 28 days before you start trading.

This registration is free and mandatory for all food businesses, and every application is accepted.

Following registration, your business will be assessed under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which can significantly impact your customers’ perception of your business.

Implementing a food management system, obtaining a food hygiene certificate, and adhering to food hygiene regulations can further enhance this perception.

Understanding Local Rules and Restrictions

Deciphering the perfect ice cream recipe can be as nuanced as understanding local rules and restrictions for selling ice cream.

But don’t worry, this guide is here to navigate you through the intricacies of local regulations.

Whether you’re planning to serve frozen delights from a mobile van or just setting up a charming parlor in the city, we’ll ensure you have the knowledge needed to legally serve your customers.

The Ins and Outs of Street Trading Licenses

Street Trading Licenses

Street Trading Licenses are essential for trading in various public spaces and come with specific local regulations that impact your operational areas.

And just like ice cream flavors🍨, the costs for a street trading license can vary significantly by location.

Application Process for a Street Trading License

Applying for a street trading license requires a detailed application to your local council, specifying your desired location and trading days.

This process may involve providing additional information, such as photographs of the trading unit and a proposed layout plan.

After submission, there is a consultation period during which the public can provide feedback or raise objections.

It is important to note that these licenses have a set validity period, often with a maximum duration of six months.

Food Hygiene and Safety Regulations

FOOD SAFETY #image_title

Perfecting your swirl is as important as ensuring food hygiene and safety when serving ice cream.

Complying with food safety and hygiene legislation is essential to operating legally and maintaining food safety standards.

Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, from poor food hygiene rating scores to fines, or even business closure.

Food Premises Approval

Getting approval as a food establishment is as necessary as sourcing the finest ingredients for your ice cream if you’re handling dairy products.

This approval ensures food safety and prevents the spread of diseases.

The approval process is administered by the local authority, which determines whether a business requires approval based on their specific activities.

HACCP Food Plan and Risk Assessments

Running an ice cream business without a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food plan is like navigating without a map!

A HACCP food plan is critical for identifying and managing food safety risks.

This plan is particularly important for vendors selling homemade ice cream, as it requires a more detailed strategy to ensure that every scoop meets safety standards.

Control measures are included in the plan to manage each identified hazard, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and legislation.

Ice Cream Van Specifics: Chimes, Insurance, and More


When it comes to the nitty-gritty of ice cream van operations, there are certain essentials that just can’t be ignored.

Comprehensive insurance coverage stands out as one of these non-negotiables, safeguarding the business against a myriad of potential risks, from vehicular mishaps to unforeseen theft.

Insurance premiums for ice cream vans are as varied as the routes they travel, each tailored to the specific needs and risks of the business.

Ice Cream Van Chime Rules

The distinctive melody of an ice cream van’s chime is an integral part of the mobile treat experience.

Specific regulations govern the use of these chimes to ensure they don’t become a source of irritation for the community.

Here’s what you need to know about the chime regulations:

  • The sound level should not exceed 80 decibels.
  • The chime should not be played for longer than 12 seconds at a time.
  • The chime should not be played more than once every 2 minutes.

Following these ice cream van rules will ensure that the chime, as well as the ice cream truck experience, is enjoyed by everyone without causing annoyance.

And chimes near schools and hospitals have additional restrictions to prevent disturbance.

Insurance Considerations for Ice Cream Vans

Insurance for an ice cream van is tailored to the unique needs and risks of your business.

It’s important to consider various types such as employer’s liability insurance, especially if you have staff, and public liability insurance for legal protection.

Since the cost of insurance premiums can vary widely, it’s advisable to compare options to ensure you find the best coverage for your ice cream venture.

Expanding Your Ice Cream Business Offerings

Expanding your ice cream business offerings can boost revenue and help address seasonal demand fluctuations.

From traditional ice cream products to ice creams with unique twists, warm pastries, and comfort foods, there’s a plethora of possibilities at your ice cream parlour to sell ice cream effectively.

Alternative Products and Services

Businesses can get creative with their offerings, much like an ice cream shop adding winter wonderland themes and seasonal flavors.

From hosting holiday parties to diversifying the menu with hot desserts, there are many ways to keep customers coming back all year round.

Adapting to Weather Conditions

Adapting to weather conditions is a key🔑 ingredient for success in the ice cream business.

From financial forecasting to adjusting operation hours, there are various strategies to manage risks and plan for reduced revenue during the colder months.


In the world of ice cream businesses, understanding licenses and regulations is crucial.

From grasping the significance of obtaining the right permissions to ensuring compliance with local council regulations, we’ve covered the key elements.

Each business model comes with its unique set of guidelines to follow, ensuring that your venture operates within the law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an ice cream van go anywhere?

Regulations dictate where you can sell ice cream from your van. It’s important to check the rules in your local area to see where you can park and sell.

Do ice cream vans need a street trading licence?

Yes, ice cream vans need a street trading license from the local council to operate. It’s a must-have for scooping up sweet success in the ice cream business!

Do you need a license to sell ice cream UK?

Yes, you will need a street trading license to sell ice cream in the UK. So, be sure to get the necessary paperwork sorted before setting up shop.

What is a street trading license?

A street trading license is necessary for selling goods from mobile platforms along public roads and pavements. So, if you’re dreaming of selling ice cream from a van, you’ll need one.

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