Keeping up with laws and legislation is important for any business. Below is a list of regulations with which your business may need to comply and further sources of information and help.You can also download our Rules and Regulations checklist.
Business Link also offers a licence and permit tool that helps you find the right licence or permit for your business.
Click on the topics below or scroll down to read more:
Trusted legislative guidance provided by VisitBritain - free for all quality assessed accommodation providers.
For more information go to the Pink Booklet Online
The Licensing Act 2003 covers the sale of alcohol by retail, the supply of alcohol in clubs, regulated entertainment, and the sale of hot food and drinks between the hours of 2300 and 0500. If this relates to your business, you will need the relevant authorisation.
For more information contact your Local Authority direct and read the Office of Public Sector Information's Licensing Act 2003 information. For the most up to date conditions of the Licensing Act 2003, see the Home Office Alcohol and Drugs website.
Under The Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004 any business providing, for payment, any of the adventure activities listed below to under 18 year-olds, without their parents or guardians present, is required to hold a valid licence from the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS). This is, however, under review and it is likely that the Licence will be replaced with a Code of Conduct by the end of 2012. To find out more, go to the Health and Safety Executive website.
If you only transfer luggage or belongings (and not people) you don’t need a special licence for either yourself or your vehicle, unless the vehicle you are using is more than 3.5 tonnes in which case you’ll need a goods licence. If you are carrying members of the public as passengers in any vehicle then you will need to consider things such as: what kind of licence you need for your vehicle, what categories should be added to your driver’s licence, and what kind of motor insurance you should be covered by.
Find out more from the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency
The Data Protection Act (DPA) exists to provide both protection for individuals and guidance for those handling personal information. It applies to all businesses, including sole traders and partnerships, who collect and collate data and information about individuals. The Act is overseen by the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Find out more from the Information Commissioner's Office
In this country, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone. There are a set of anti-discrimination laws and they all have the same two principles underlying them: to allow fairness, equality and access for everyone, and to eradicate both direct and indirect discrimination.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It simplifies the law, removing inconsistencies and making it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthens the law in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality.
Read and download: Equality Act 2010: Guidance for Service Providers
Find out more from the Equality for Human Rights Commission
As from 1st October 2008 all buildings (commercial or domestic) and whether they're newly built, offered for sale, or offered for rent, now require an Energy Performance Certificate. There are a few exceptions such as places of workshop, temporary buildings and certain stand-alone buildings. From 30 June 2011, any property rented out as a holiday let for 20 weeks or more a year is also required to obtain an EPC. The Department for Local Communities and Government have produced a FAQs document regarding the changes.
Read the official Communities and Local Government Guide to improving energy efficiency of our buildings (2nd edition July 2008).
The FSO applies to all business premises including providing accommodation for paying guests. The responsible person for the premises must carry out a fire safety risk assessment as well as implement and maintain a fire management plan. Find out more and download a useful leaflet ‘Do you have paying guests?’ on the Communities and Local Government web pages.
If you plan to sell food and drink you must be registered with your local authority. Legally, you must also comply with the Food Safety Act 1990.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the body responsible for health and safety legislation in this country and their website offers a wide range of information and resources to help you comply.
Find out more from the Health & Safety Executive
There are four different types of business insurance: insurances required by law, insurances that cover your legal liabilities, insurance against loss of property or trade, and personal insurance. And all businesses that employ staff (even just one member) are required by law to have Employers Liability Compulsory Insurances (ELC).
Use the Business Link Insurance Tool to calculate what insurance cover you need.
If you play recorded music or videos in public (in any commercial or business context) you may be legally required to hold a licence. And if you are planning to offer a DVD film library, you will need a DVD Concierge licence too.
If you advertise and sell good and products online you must comply with the EC Directive on E-Commerce. You can read a useful beginners guide from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills. Business Link also offers a comprehensive guide to selling online.
These stop unscrupulous tour operators and travel agents from surprising customers with hidden costs, misrepresenting holidays, and leaving customers stranded abroad when the organisers go bankrupt. These regulations apply to all businesses (or individuals) who decide to organise and offer packages for sale.
You may need to obtain planning permission from your local authority if you need to extend or alter a property, change an external appearance of a building, build new premises or change buildings use.
Pricing laws apply to everyone. There are general regulations about pricing laid down in the Consumer Protection Act 1987 as well as specific regulations for accommodation providers and sellers of food and drink.
Find out more from BIS’s Code of Practice for Traders on Price Indicators
Brown and White road signs are the official road signs for the tourism industry. Putting up signs on the outside of your property requires permission from the local planning department. You can read a useful leaflet on ‘Outdoor Advertisement and Signs: a guide for advertisers’ produced by Communities and Local Government.
To read about policy guidance and find out how to get a Brown sign contact The Highways Agency.
On July 1st 2007, England introduced a new law to make virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smoke-free.
Read the Smoke-free Regulations here.
The Trade Descriptions Act deals with the mis-description of goods in general. Check that the way you describe your business complies. You can also access some good training tools on the Sale of Good Act for retailers.
If you run a hotel or provide mobile units of overnight accommodation you are eligible for a reduced-fee hotel and mobile units TV Licence.
Use TV Licensing's ‘Check if you need one too’.
Visit our Document Library packed full of support information, factsheets, and helpful documentation to download.
Visit our Case Study section for live examples of local tourism business success.
Can't find what you're looking for? Or need someone to talk to? Then Contact Us
Are you gearing up for next year's Olympic Games and the opportunities they could present to your business? Tourism 2012 Games is a...
It's less than a year to go before the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Overnight trips made by people who either have or are...
Then check out Green Grants Machine . Green Grants Machine is a new website designed to help businesses find funding to make the small changes...