Austin Macauley 30 July 2014

Council explores single business licence

Councils could soon be able to issue firms with a single business licence under proposals being explored in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council has received funding from the Better Regulation Delivery Office to look at how a simplified system would work.

The county currently processes up to 10,000 business authorisations every year across various council services. The new system would issue firms with a single, lifetime licence – avoiding the need for multiple applications to different departments.

The six-month project will map ‘a typical set of activities’ for start-ups and established businesses, according to Allan Hampshire, the council’s head of public health and protection.

He added: ‘ We will also want to work with local businesses and trade associations to better understand their needs in terms of a simplified licensing system.

‘We will be exploring options that will work better for councils and businesses such as a single licensing application form, a council licensing single point of contact, online accessibility and flexible payment options.’

Business minister Matthew Hancock said the proposals could make it easier for firms to work with councils and free them from ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’.

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