Apply for this licence

Start now on the Canal & River Trust website


You must have a licence to run a leisure boat business on Canal & River Trust (CRT) controlled waters.

You’ll need a licence if your boats are used for:

  • passenger trips
  • day hire
  • holiday hire
  • floating restaurants

You must renew your licence every 12 months.


Before applying for a licence, you must make sure your:

  • boat meets the CRT’s construction and equipment standards
  • boat has home moorings
  • insurance covers third-party liability up to at least £1 million

If your boat can hold up to 12 passengers, you must complete a declaration of compliance to send with your application.

If your boat can hold 13 passengers or more, you must get a passenger certificate from the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to send with your application.

Contact your local MCA office for detailed advice on how to get the right passenger certificate for your boat.

How to apply

Complete a business boat licence application and send this to:

Boat Licensing Team
PO Box 162

You can also send this to them by email or call them on the number below:

Boat Licensing Team
Telephone: 0303 040 4040
Find out about call charges

You’ll have to pay an application fee, which changes based on how many passengers your boat can hold.

Displaying your licence

You must display your licence on both sides of your boat (the CRT will provide you with 2 copies of this).

Penalties and fines

Your boat may be confiscated and sold or destroyed if you run a leisure boat business without a licence.