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Sunday trading

Sunday trading hours are controlled by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. There are restrictions on the number of hours you can open your shop for on Sundays.

Rules about opening your shop on Sundays vary depending on the size of your premises. If your shops's retail area is over 280 square metres:

  • you're only allowed to open for any 6 hours on Sundays between the hours of 10am and 6pm
  • you're not allowed to open on Easter Sunday (or Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday)
  • you must display the Sunday opening times both inside and outside your shop


Small shops are exempt from these restrictions. If the retail area of your shop is less than 280 square metres (the size of a tennis court), you have unrestricted opening on Sundays and don't have to register with the local authority.

Other exemptions include:

  • public houses, off-licences and takeaways (opening hours for these are governed by their licence requirements)
  • chemists and pharmacies (where only medical goods are sold)
  • shops in railway stations
  • petrol filling stations and service areas
  • motor accessory shops (where only motor or cycle supplies are sold)
  • farm shops (where only produce only from that farm is sold)
  • exhibition stands

For further information, visit trading hours for retailers.

Businesses observing the Jewish Sabbath

If your business wishes to close on Saturdays and open on Sundays instead, you must serve a notice on the council informing us of your beliefs. You must do this 14 days before you intend to open. Once your business is registered, your business will have unrestricted opening hours on Sundays. Where the business is run by a company or partnership, the majority of partners or directors must observe the Jewish Sabbath.

Applying for a licence

You can register for a Sunday trading licence by downloading an application form (PDF, 29kb). We advise that you read the guidance notes attached to the form before registering.

If you’d like more information, contact us

Page last updated: 07 May 2019


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