Setting up your own market
Market licenceIf you're interested in setting up a market or a car boot sale in Belfast you need a licence from the council.
We own the historic rights to operate markets in the city including those held on private property or indoors. It is under these rights that we run the very successful St George's Market
However, we're keen to encourage other organisations and individuals to run their own markets in Belfast.
We believe that well-planned markets have the potential to contribute positively to the economic, social and cultural life of the city and its neighbourhoods.
- Getting started
- Application forms
- What happens after applying for a licence?
- Frequently asked questions
- Markets Rights Policy
ChecklistBefore filling in an application form, please read our Market Rights Policy which explains the full terms of our markets licensing and our frequently asked questions
Any market needs careful planning. This checklist will give you some idea of the things you need to consider to ensure that your market is run safely and successfully:
- Do you have agreement from the owner of the land or building where the market will take place?
- Do you, or the property or land owner where you plan to hold your market, have public liability insurance?
- In the case of a large or commercial market, have you consulted with the relevant statutory agencies, local retailers and local residents (if any) about your plans?
- If there is going to be entertainment at the market, do you have an entertainment licence?
- If there are plans to sell food, are the stall holders registered as a food business with the council?
- How will you make sure that counterfeit or stolen goods are not sold at your market (as this will be your responsibility as an operator)?
- Do you need an environmental management plan?
- Particularly for commercial markets, do you have a business plan?
Expression of interest to operate a charitable market in Belfast form (Word doc - 74KB)
Download this form if you represent a charitable organisation wanting to organise a market of any size.
- Application to operate a commercial market in Belfast (Word doc - 75KB)
Download this form if you are planning a market that is commercial in nature (this includes farmer's markets and speciality or variety markets).
- Check details
We will check the details of your application. We may contact you to confirm these details and you may be required to provide us with additional evidence. Please note that the application process may take up to four months.
- Development Committee decision
Once we are happy that you have provided sufficient information, your application will be presented to our Development Committee for consideration. For smaller and charitable markets, the decision may be taken by a council officer instead.
- Council decision
Once the Development Committee makes a decision about an application, it will then go to a full council meeting for approval (meetings usually take place on the first Monday of each month, except July).
If the application is granted, a licence will be issued to you and the market can become operational. If it is refused, you will be advised of the decision in writing. There is no appeals process regarding this decision.
- Download Markets Rights Policy (Word - 124KB)
More informationFor more information, contact:
Markets Development Officer
Belfast City Council
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Telephone: 028 9032 0202