Metal dealer licence

Important change for taxi, private hire and scrap metal license holders or applicants:

As of 2 October 2023, any individual, company or partnership must now complete a tax check when:

  • Renewing a licence;
  • Applying for the same type of licence previously held, that stopped being valid less than a year ago; or
  • Applying for the same type of licence already held with another licencing authority.

This tax check is to confirm you are registered for tax (where applicable). You will be asked questions about how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licenced trade. 

Once you have completed the tax check, you will be given a 9-character code which you will need to give to the licensing team along with your licencing application. Our team cannot process your licence without this code and your application will be returned to you until this is complete. 

You can complete the tax check at the following link - Complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence - GOV.UK (

For the avoidance of doubt, Aberdeen City Council do not receive any of your tax information, only confirmation that you have completed the relevant check. 

Within 28 days of the date of the decision to refuse their application, the applicant may require the licence authority to give the reasons for their decision.

The applicant may appeal to the sheriff against the decision, within 28 days of the decision, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

The appeal will only be successful if the sheriff considers that the local authority, in making their decision, had:

  • erred in law
  • based their decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised their discretion in an unreasonable manner

The applicant may then appeal on a point of law from the sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the sheriff's decision. Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

If the local authority decides to suspend a licence, not to renew a licence, or not to consent to material changes to the premises or vehicle used in the course of a licence holder's work, the licence holder may appeal against the decision to the sheriff, within 28 days of being notified, as long as they have already followed any available procedure in terms of stating their case to the local authority.

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the licence holder - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

To be a scrap metal dealer operating from premises, you need a metal dealer's licence. However, a metal dealer's licence is not required by a person who holds an exemption warrant..

A metal dealer's licence will specify the activities which you may engage in and the place where you can carry out your business.  The premises or vehicle you use in order to carry out the work must be suitable for that purpose.

You must not be disqualified from holding a licence, and you must be fit to be the holder of the licence.

You must not have applied for the same licence within the last year, unless there has been a material change in your circumstances since your last application.

An exemption warrant can be issued by the licensing authority where a certificate from the auditor of the metal dealer's business is produced, which states that, in a financial year within the preceding 18 months, the total amount received by the dealer in respect of metal sold or supplied exceeded £100,000.

Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

An application fee is payable.

Applications must:

  • be in writing (including by electronic means)
  • be signed by the applicant (including by electronic means)
  • contain the applicant's name and address, and those of any employee who will manage the activity on a day-to-day basis, and the area in which the activity is to be carried out

The application must also contain either of the following:

  • A declaration that you will display a notice at the premises for 21 days which contains the details in your licence application and details on how to make representations regarding the application. This should be followed by a certificate to the licensing authority stating that this requirement has been complied with.
  • A declaration that you do not have rights in the premises that enable you to put up a notice, and detailing the reasonable steps that you have made to acquire those rights.

The local authority will:

  • send a copy of the application to the Chief Constable, and where the activity is wholly or mainly to be carried on in premises, the fire authority
  • keep a register of applications in which they will enter the details of the receipt of the application, their final decision and reasons for the decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence

The register must be available for inspection by any member of the public at reasonable times and places and any member of the public must be permitted to make a copy of it.

Yes, where the local authority fails to make a decision within six months of receipt of the application, the licence is deemed to be granted or renewed.

For advice or to submit an application, contact the Licensing team

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