Primary Authority

Primary Authority

The Primary Authority scheme allows your business to form a legal partnership with a local authority (known as the primary authority). Your primary authority can provide you with assured, consistent regulatory advice that makes it simpler and easier to comply with environmental health, trading standards and fire safety legislation. Enforcing authorities should respect this advice when regulating your business.

Participating in Primary Authority can give your business greater confidence in your regulated activities and reduce your risk of contravening legislation. Provided that you follow the advice you are given, you can be confident that you are complying with the law.

Primary Authority can also help businesses that operate as part of a group, such as franchisees or members of a trade association.

To find out more, see the Government guide for Primary Authority: An Overview.

Benefits of Business Partnership

Direct partnerships can work well for businesses that:

  • have complex needs best addressed through tailored advice
  • operate across a number of local authority areas
  • spend significant time and resource on their compliance activities
  • would benefit from having a single point of contact with a local authority

Businesses with simpler regulatory requirements may benefit from joining similar businesses in a co-ordinated partnership, which is managed on their behalf by a co-ordinator. The government website has more information about co-ordinated partnerships available.

Primary Authority Advice

Your primary authority can provide your business with reliable regulatory advice that’s tailored to your business circumstances. Primary Authority Advice can help your business understand how legal requirements apply to you, how you can achieve compliance and whether the controls you have in place are acceptable.

Primary Authority Advice is assured, which means that provided that you abide by the advice you are given, you won’t need to follow conflicting advice from other sources. Your business should be protected against the risk of enforcement action from enforcing authorities that have different views on what you should be doing to achieve compliance. Other regulators can use the Primary Authority Register to see what assured advice you have been given.

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