Knife dealer licence

You need a knife dealer's licence to carry out business as a dealer in certain types of knives:

  • 'non-domestic' knives
  • blades (other than those designed for domestic use)
  • swords
  • any other article which has a blade, is sharply pointed or is made to cause injury to another person

A dealer is defined as a person carrying on a business which consists wholly or partly of the following activities:

  • selling
  • hiring
  • offering for sale or hire
  • exposing for sale or hire
  • lending
  • giving any of the articles listed above to other persons not acting in the course of a business

Selling is defined as including sale by aution and accepting goods or services in payment for such articles.  The legislation also applies to remove sales of knives and may require both the premises that the article is sold from and the premises where the article is dispatched from to be licensed, depending on where those premises are located.

The legislation does not define 'domestic' or 'non-domestic' knife.  East Lothian Council interprets 'domestic' as being any knife, tool or blade used or habitually used in accommodation used as family homes.  

There are certain exemptions from the requirement to obtain a knife dealer licence.  You don't need a licence if you deal in the following:

  • knives designed for domestic use
  • knife blades designed for domestic use
  • folding pocket knives, kirpans or skean dhus whose blades do not exceed 3.5 inches (8.91cm) in length.

Where a person is teaching or training another person in the sport of fencing, the hiring, lending or giving of fencing weapons does not constitue a business requiring a licence, but only where the person teaching is a professional, qualified to teach or train in the sport.

Download the knife dealer application form

Download the knife dealer site notice

Download the knife dealer compliance notice

Download the knife dealer guidance notes

Download the knife dealer licence conditions

**Please note: Licence fees are non-refundable**