Record shop legal issues

Man in brown sweater holding record with woman in background looking for records

Although there no legislation that relates specifically to the retail sale of recorded music, there are some areas of general retailing legislation that you should be aware of. If you are uncertain about any of the legislation that applies to your record shop then you should contact your local trading standards department.

What licences does a record shop need?

There are no licensing requirements relating specifically to selling recorded music.

You should, however, be aware of the following:

  • if (as is likely) background music is played in the shop, you are likely to need a Music Licence from PPL PRS Ltd. There is an annual fee for this which you can pay online on the PPL PRS website
  • if you show music videos in the shop, then you may need to get an additional licence from VPL (a division of PPL)

Licensing of second-hand dealers

You might decide to sell second-hand music, either as well as or instead of new records. Local authorities in Scotland require second-hand dealers to obtain a licence or registration to operate. This applies unless dealing in second-hand goods is only incidental to the main business activity. Elsewhere in the UK, some local authorities license or register businesses (with certain specific exemptions) where second-hand dealing is the main or a significant part of the business and is not just incidental. If you are in any doubt as to whether second-hand dealer licensing may apply to your business, contact your local authority trading standards department for guidance.

Retailing

There is a wide range of legislation that applies to retail outlets and that protects the interests of the consumer. For example, goods and services must not be misleadingly described and the retail price of goods must be clearly displayed. You will be responsible for making sure that all goods or services are fit for their intended purpose and of satisfactory quality. There is special additional consumer protection legislation that applies if you sell things 'at a distance' by mail order or online. There's detailed guidance on your legal obligations to consumers, and on the requirements when selling online, on the Trading Standards Business Companion website. Information about consumer protection and fair trading legislation is also available on the Gov.uk website.

Carrier bag charge

A 5 pence charge applies in England, but small and medium-sized businesses (with fewer than 250 full-time equivalent employees) are exempt. You can get detailed guidance from the gov.uk website.

Retailers in Wales and Scotland must charge customers at least 5 pence if they supply them with a single-use carrier bag. This applies to all types of single-use bag, whether they are made of plastic, paper or plant-based starch. There is detailed guidance on the Gov.Wales and Zero Waste Scotland websites.

In Northern Ireland retailers must charge customers a 5 pence levy on all bags with a retail price of less than 20 pence (including any bags that would otherwise be free of charge), whether they are single-use or reusable.

Health & Safety, fire

You must comply with workplace health and safety and fire safety legislation.

Employment legislation

Anyone employing staff must comply with employment legislation. Important areas of legislation include recruitment, employment contracts, pay, working hours, holidays, employment policies, sickness, maternity, paternity, discrimination, discipline, grievances, dismissals, redundancies and employment tribunals.

Insurance for a record shop

Contact an insurer or insurance broker and explain exactly how your business will operate - they will then explain what insurance cover you must have by law, and other cover you should consider. This might include:

  • premises, premises contents and stock
  • goods in transit (for example on the way back from a supplier)
  • cash
  • business interruption
  • employers liability
  • public liability
  • motor insurance (for business vehicles)

When comparing insurance quotes, uncover the differences between policies by using an insurance comparison form.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.