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:
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.