Shoe repairer legal issues

Person hammering nail into the heel of a black shoe

There are several pieces of legislation that apply to farm shops. They cover areas such as licensing, consumer protection, and insurance.

What licences does a shoe repairer need?

There are no licensing requirements relating specifically to the activities carried on in a typical shoe repair outlet.

You should, however, be aware that if background music is provided in the shop you will usually 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.

Code of practice

If you become a member of the Society of Master Shoe Repairers (SOMSR) then you will have to comply with their code of practice. This covers various aspects of the trade and was produced in consultation with the Office of Fair Trading (since replaced by the Competition and Markets Authority).

Consumer protection

There's a great deal of legislation that protects the rights of the consumer that covers areas like the sale and supply of goods and services, pricing, consumer contracts and so on. There's detailed guidance available on the Trading Standards Business Companion 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 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 shoe repairer

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 delivery vehicles)

The Society of Master Shoe Repairers (SOMSR) offers members bespoke insurance packages. Visit the SOMSR website for more information. 

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

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