Business guidance

We offer business advice to Leicestershire businesses on all the legislation we enforce, including weights and measures, food, safety and consumer protection.

Business advice


Not what you're looking for? see our information for consumers.

We offer business advice to Leicestershire businesses on all the legislation we enforce, including weights and measures, food, safety and consumer protection. Most of our advice is free, but some is chargeable, see our business advice policy.

Before you contact us, see if you can find what you're looking for below:

Primary Authority

Businesses can now partner with a local authority for advice on how to comply with trading standards and other legislation.

Primary Authority is a national scheme introduced and overseen by the government. It's available to any business, large or small, in any sector, whether local or based elsewhere in the UK and trading in England. See Primary Authority Overview (GOV.UK) for further details on the scheme.

Product safety

Product safety and standards 
Business strategy
Other guidance

Food businesses

New food businesses may also find the Food Standards Agency's Starting a food business guidance useful.

Information about food standards, allergens and labelling

Allergens guidance

Traceability guidance

Labelling guidance

Multiple languages: Allergy awareness and training


Allergen awareness training video

Cymraeg (Welsh):

Fideo hyfforddiant ymwybyddiaeth o alergenau

বাংলা (Bengali):

অ্যালার্জেন সচেতনতা প্রশিক্ষণ ভিডিও

广东话 (Cantonese):


普通话 (Mandarin):


Kurdî (Kurdish):

Vîdyoya perwerdehiya hişmendiya alerjenê

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi):

ਐਲਰਜੀਨ ਜਾਗਰੂਕਤਾ ਸਿਖਲਾਈ ਵੀਡੀਓ

Türk (Turkish):

Alerjen farkındalık eğitim videosu

اردو (Urdu):

الرجین آگاہی تربیتی ویڈیو

български (Bulgarian):

Обучително видео за познаване на алергени

Magyar (Hungarian):

Allergén tudatosság oktató videó

Polski (Polish):

Film szkoleniowy dotyczący świadomości alergenów

Română (Romanian):

Video de instruire pentru conștientizarea alergenilor

Complete online food safety training
Information about food recalls
Information about food hygiene

Complete our food business questionnaire

The purpose of this questionnaire is to gain additional information about your business so that our food officers can provide any advice you may need to ensure your business complies with the law. At the end of the questionnaire you will receive an email with your answers alongside appropriate links to online guidance. If the online guidance you receive doesn't answer all of your questions, we can offer bespoke chargeable advice (see our fees)

Please note: Trading Standards have a different remit to Environmental Health, therefore you still need to complete this questionnaire even if you have already spoken with your local Environmental Health department. If you have not yet registered your food business please register before completing this questionnaire.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire:

Food business questionnaire

Animal feed

The feed provided to farmed animals is strictly controlled, it must be safe for animals to eat and not affect the meat, milk, eggs and other foods that our farmers produce.

Animal Health Officers carry out routine inspections at all sorts of feed businesses - manufacturers, transporters, retailers and farmers - to check these standards are being met.

Guidance for feed businesses
Register a feed business

Feed manufacturers - including pet food and pet treat manufacturers, transporters, retailers and farmers must register with us using our animal feed registration form.

Animal health and welfare

Useful information about the health and welfare of farmed animals (cows, sheep, pigs, deer, goats, poultry etc.)

For concerns regarding other species such as cats, dogs or horses, please contact the RSPCA

You can also find information about horses at World Horse Welfare

If you have concerns about dog breeding, please contact your local district council.

Guidance for farmers
Guidance for owners of farmed animals (pets)
Report an animal health and welfare issue

If you're concerned about the health and welfare of any farm animals, e.g. cows, sheep, pigs, deer, goats and poultry, etc. you can report it to our animal health officers online.

Health and welfare issues that you could report include:

  • animal feed hygiene
  • illegally imported animals – imported animals that don’t meet the strict guidelines that prevent the introduction and spread of disease
  • farm animals straying on the roads
  • sick, injured or dead farm animals found at livestock markets, on farms, in fields, on footpaths or by the side of the road

Weights and measures

Weights and measures guidance

Age restricted sales

Guidance on age restricted sales

18 years and over

Consumers must be 18 years and over to purchase:

  • tobacco – also see Business Companion: Packaging, labelling, advertising and tracking
  • fireworks and sparklers
  • alcohol, knives, axes or blades
  • lighter refills containing butane nicotine
  • inhaling products (including e-cigarettes and e-liquid/vape juice)
  • videos, DVDs and computer games with a 18+ classification

16 years and over

To purchase aerosol paint, consumers must be 16 years and over.

15 years and over

Videos, DVDs and computer games with a 15+ classification can only be purchased by consumers 15 years and over.

12 years and over

Consumers must be 12 years and over to purchase:

  • christmas crackers
  • videos, DVDs and computer games with a 12+ classification
Report underage sales

Report an underage sales issue to Trading Standards.

Counterfeit goods

Illegal tobacco

Illegal (sometimes referred to as 'illicit') tobacco products are those which have been smuggled into the country. They include:

  • tobacco products that have no duty (tax) paid
  • counterfeit, or fake, products
  • cigarettes called ‘cheap whites’ (produced solely for the smuggled market)

You can identify illegal tobacco products by its:

  • price – if a packet of cigarettes or pouch of hand rolling tobacco is cheap, it’s likely to be illegal (prices between £4 to £6 for a pack of 20 cigarettes and £10 for a pouch of 50g tobacco)
  • packaging – all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco should be sold in mandatory dark green coloured packets
  • origin – such as foreign brand names (e.g. Pect or NZ Gold), foreign health warnings on the packaging and / or no picture warnings
  • location in a store – if they are kept away from the tobacco gantry and out of view e.g. under the counter

Implications of illegal tobacco


All tobacco products are harmful to health. Many illegal tobacco products are unregulated. Young people can access cheap tobacco products because they’re sold at pocket money prices.  Cheap tobacco makes it too easy for children to smoke and become addicted. Adults who smoke are less likely to consider alternatives to smoking when tobacco products are cheap.


All legally manufactured cigarettes are produced with a paper that is self-extinguishable – which means the cigarette ‘goes out’ when the inhaling stops - to reduce the chance that they should set fire to sofas and beds. Illegal cigarettes don’t have this mandatory paper and therefore there is a greater chance of a fire.


Those that smuggle and sell tobacco products cost the government more than £2.5 billion a year in lost tax, resulting in less money available for public services e.g. hospitals and schools.


The selling of illegal tobacco brings criminal behaviour into communities and neighbourhoods.

Fake alcohol

You can identify counterfeit alcohol by its:

  • price – a bottle of spirit which is 35cl or larger and 30% ABV (alcohol by volume) or higher will have UK duty stamp.  The stamp is usually part of the label or stuck onto the glass and shows that tax has been paid or is due to be paid on the contents of the bottle.  If the label isn’t there – it is illegal.
  • packaging – poor quality labelling (possibly with spelling mistakes), fake versions of well-known brands, unusual brand names. Vodka is the most commonly counterfeited spirit. Branded wines are also commonly counterfeited.
  • seal – if the cap isn’t sealed properly or is broken you shouldn’t drink the contents.  The product may not be illegal but it may have been tampered with.
  • taste or smell – if the alcohol tastes or smells bad (particularly the smell of nail varnish) you must not drink it.

You can avoid fake alcohol by:

  • making sure you buy from a reputable sources and always get a receipt or invoice
  • being wary of deals that look too good to be true (it most probably is!)
Report the sale of counterfeit goods
Other fake goods
Find a registered trade mark
Intellectual property information

Trading fairly 

Business guidance
Avoid scams targeting businesses 

Invoice or Mandate fraud

Business are advised to watch out for contacts that claim to be an organisation, a supplier or manager that they may know or have dealt with before. They may ask for changes to bank details normally used to make payments, but the money then goes into an account controlled by the fraudster.

Tech support scams

These are scams where criminals offer a ‘technical support service’ to unsuspecting users, offering to ‘fix’ non-existent technical issues or to ‘repair’ devices. They aim to gain access to devices and steal passwords and log-in details. They can do this by cold calling on the phone, sending e-mails with malicious attachments or gaining access to operating systems if they are not up to date. Victims may also be directed to click on links or visit fake websites which look legitimate.

Government grant or tax rebate scams

Businesses can be contacted in a variety of ways, but the latest ‘spin’ on this scam involves contact through text messages and social media messages and posts to encourage the victim to take up the offer of a fake government grant or a tax refund.

How to stay safe and protect yourself and your business from scams

Have you or your business been contacted out of the blue? Unsolicited phone calls and emails could be a sign of a scam but can be difficult to spot – here are some dos and don’ts to help you protect your personal and financial information:

  • Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious e-mails or text messages
  • Don’t respond to messages asking for personal or financial details
  • Don’t install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as the result of a cold cal
  • Do use stronger passwords and set up two-factor authentication
  • Do be suspicious of cold callers asking for information or offering technical support
  • Do challenge callers - genuine companies would never ask for financial information, passwords or log in details when contacting you
Report someone not trading fairly

Report an unfair trading issue to Trading Standards.

Further information

For support and comprehensive advice on starting, funding or growing your business in Leicestershire, visit the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Business Gateway

Please contact your local district council if you require information about 'premises' licensing, street trading, dog breeding or food hygiene. You can also apply for the licences we offer.

See the HSE website for information about workplace safety.

Please note: We can only assist businesses based in Leicestershire.
If you're based in the city, visit Leicester City Council Trading Standards