Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses

Getting Started

The basics

Unsure of the law on trading standards or whether the rules apply to you? Find out how the law sees businesses that sell to consumers 

Get Started
Quick Guide

Concise guidance

Want answers right now? Quick Guides are arranged by what, where and how you sell to help you find the information you need

Quick Guides
In-Depth Guide

Detailed information

Know what you're looking for, or want to browse a list of specific guidance arranged by category? In-depth Guides deliver the detail

In-Depth Guides

Business in focus

Domestic energy saving

Guidance for businesses on legislation and best practice

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Holiday parks

Guidance for holiday park owners and operators selling holiday caravans / holiday lodges for private ownership

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Providing safe products for the UK marketplace

Guidance for businesses on PAS 7050

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Starting an online business

Guidance for online sellers

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Business Companion provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation

The site delivers guidance by default for England, but if you are trading in Scotland or Wales, you should choose your location using the drop-down list at the top of the page. This is because some laws apply to just one or two of the countries, while others extend to all three GB countries or the whole of the UK.

For guidance on the law in Northern Ireland, please see

The guidance is divided up into 15 broad Quick Guides and each one contains a number of more detailed In-depth Guides.

There may be rules you are not aware of, so make sure you explore the site thoroughly.

If you don't know where to begin, or you're a new business, click Get Started above.

New In-depth Guides

Bovine viral diarrhoea (new for England)
High fat, sugar or salt (less healthy) foods (England only)
Sale of petrol and diesel from forecourts
UKCA / CE marking

Latest news

CMA guidance on buying green heating and insulation products
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published Buying Green Heating and Insulation Products: A Consumer Guide. More >

Selling chemicals responsibly
Certain chemicals can be used in the illicit manufacture of explosives and/or to cause harm. To reduce the risk of harm from these substances, the Poisons Act 1972 sets out the obligations that suppliers have in relation to regulated and reportable substances. More >

OPSS guidance on notifying authorities about unsafe products
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has published Product Safety and Non-compliance Notification Guidance, which is intended to help businesses understand their obligations regarding notifiying authorities about unsafe products. More >