Starting a new business

Starting a new business in the Lancaster district? You have access to a wide range of new business support services.

Support and advice

Licences and permits

You may need a licence or permit to run your business.

See a list of the licences and permits we issue to find out how to apply or who to contact for further information.

Planning permission

You might need planning permission or building regulations approval for your business.

Check our planning and building regulations and guidance for commercial premises and advertising signage for more information.

Health and safety

Your business will have a legal duty to provide a safe and healthy place of work for your staff, customers, visitors and contractors.

Find out more on our health and safety page.

Food businesses

When starting a new food business it is essential to obtain information on food safety regulations. We can help you with information on registering your food business, food premises approval, food safety inspections and food safety training.

Training and learning

We deliver a wide range of food safety and health and safety training courses. We have also teamed up with an eLearning provider to provide a wide online learning and training resources.

Selling to the council

Lancaster City Council is one of the largest organisations in the area, so you might want to think about offering goods or services to us. Find out more on our contracts and tendering page.

We have signed up to the prompt payment code and undertake to pay supplier invoices within 30 days (unless otherwise stated in the terms of the contract). More information on our payment of supplier invoices page.

Business rates

Business rates are charged on commercial properties. Small businesses can get a discount called 'small business rate relief'.

Find out more on our business rates page or small business rate relief page.

Business premises

Our searchable property register contains details of industrial, commercial, retail and office properties, and development sites currently available across the district.

You can also view our regularly updated listings of properties and units for sale/to let, rooms and venues for hire, and details of our business parks and development sites. Find out more on our sites and premises page.

Business waste and recycling

Every business that produces waste has a duty to manage it properly.

We provide a six day (where viable) commercial waste and recycling collection service to businesses in the Lancaster district, with flexible billing arrangements. For more information see our commercial waste and recycling page.


Our daily tradeperson's parking permit allows tradespeople to park in any on-street residents' parking zone, or any on-street pay and display parking bay in Lancaster or Morecambe.

We also provide parking permits for car parks in Lancaster and Morecambe.

Employing people

The GOV.UK website offers advice on employing staff for the first time.

Tax and National Insurance

The HMRC online learning course for people starting their own business can help with questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.


Last updated: 07 June 2018