Looking to trade from your vessel?

Narrowboats moored alongside each other

There are a few considerations that you should bear in mind before starting to sell on the canal network.


You will need to apply for a business licence in order to sell your goods on-board. All licences are valid for 12 months. Fees may vary due to the length of your vessel, take a look at the link below to find out more.


Do you have a hobby and wish to sell? Standard boat insurance will not cover your trading activity and failing to buy insurance could leave you exposed to serious personal liabilities. We can offer you protection to sell your products/services from your vessel, whether it be knitted bobble hats, drawings & paintings or even cheese!

The yearly cost for light informal trading cover is £72.80 which includes 12% Insurance Premium Tax, and we will supply a Traders Liability Insurance Certificate for the Canal and River Trust. For a more extensive cover you may be interested in enquiring about our full roving trader policy. Get in touch with our team today who can provide a quotation tailored to your specific requirements.

If you are selling food or edible products we would strongly suggest you also take out “deleterious” cover. This insurance provides protection against any liability you may incur should someone become unwell having eaten something you have sold. Please get in touch with our team who will be happy to discuss your trading activities and the insurance you may need.


If you want to trade in one place you’ll need to find a suitable home mooring. However, if you already have a home mooring, you must ensure that you get consent from your provider.

If you do not wish to have a permanent mooring, you will have to navigate around the waterways over a total range of 20 miles or more. You cannot trade in the same neighbourhood for more than 14 days unless there is a visitor sign that says otherwise.

For further information on how to get your business up and running, visit the Canal River Trust website