Trading Standards guides for businesses

​​​​​Business Companion provides information for businesses that need to know about Trading Standards and consumer protection legislation.

If you keep livestock, the law covers the health and well-being of your animals, as well as animal feed

Animal health controls protect you, your animals, the consumer and the livestock industry. The law sets out responsibilities for transport, disease, welfare, animal by-products and disposal, for example.

These rules apply whether you keep the animals for pleasure or for profit.

There are strict laws on animal feed too, which mostly apply to farmed livestock. However, horses, pets, farmed fish, zoo and circus animals - as well as animals living in the wild - are also covered.

​The law sets out rules that cover the preparation, composition and labelling of food supplied for human consumption.

In broad terms:

  • the quality must meet the expectations of the consumer
  • it must be as described and not presented in a way that misleads the consumer
  • nothing may be added or removed that would make it harmful to health

And the rules covering food safety can be divided into two broad areas:

  • the preparation of a product (for example, hygiene)
  • the finished product (such as labelling and presentation)

Guidance on allergens in food is provided by

If you prepare, pack or sell certain specific food products there will be additional regulations that apply. Check the guides to find out whether there are extra rules that cover you.

​Product safety in the UK is governed by a wide regulatory framework consisting of both national and European-derived legislation.

The laws apply to any business involved in the import, manufacture and supply of goods to consumers.

If your business carries out any of these activities, you are required to comply with the law and protect consumers by ensuring that your goods are safe.

If you cut corners on safety, you could face criminal prosecution, have to withdraw or recall products from the market and face legal action from consumers to recover damages for the harm caused.

​If you weigh or measure goods to sell to consumers, the law states that your equipment must be both suitable and accurate

The law also covers the manufacture and approval of this equipment, and lays down requirements about specific quantities in which certain goods must be sold.

Display legislation is in place for all shops and businesses selling tobacco products (including specialist and bulk tobacconists).


If you retail age-restricted products including alcohol, tobacco, knives and films, we can provide information

If you retail age-restricted products including alcohol, tobacco, knives and films, we can provide guidance to help you train your staff and keep children safe. Please contact us.


Last updated 21 December 2021