Metal dealer's licence (Scotland)

Apply for this licence

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Contact your council for a licence to deal scrap metal from regular premises in Scotland.


You may not need a licence if you’ve received more than £100,000 worth of scrap metal in a financial year during the last 18 months. Contact your council for details.


You must keep detailed records on any scrap metal you handle, including:

  • its description and weight
  • date and time of transaction
  • name and address of the person you got it from
  • how much you paid or sold it for (or what you trade it for, if applicable)
  • how much you think it’s worth if you dispose of it
  • the registration number of the vehicle delivering it

You must keep records for at least 2 years.

You must not:

  • buy, sell or trade scrap metal with anyone under 16
  • dispose of scrap metal until at least 48 hours (excluding weekends) after you received it (unless either your licence or an order from the council allows it)

How to apply

Apply to the local council. You’ll need to pay a fee, which will vary from council to council.

You’ll also need to give the names and addresses of:

  • yourself
  • anyone else involved in day-to-day management of your business
  • all directors or partners if you’re applying on behalf of a company or partnership

A licence is usually valid for 3 years and must be renewed.

You’ll need a separate licence if you also deal in second-hand goods.

Displaying your licence

You must display written notice of your application for 21 days in the place where you’ll be trading. It must contain the details of your application and instructions on how someone can raise an objection before the council makes a decision.

Fines and penalties

If you deal scrap metal without a licence you could be fined up to £200.

You could also be fined up to £1,000 if you:

  • sell or dispose of metal you’ve received within the past 48 hours (excluding weekends)
  • don’t keep proper records
  • receive scrap metal from, or sell or pass it on to, someone under 16
  • give a false address when receiving, selling, trading or getting rid of scrap metal

If you give false information in records you could be fined up to £2,500 and ordered to wait 7 days after receiving scrap metal before selling it on or trading it.

This penalty can last up to 2 years and breaking it can lead to more fines and imprisonment for up to 60 days.