Our Partnerships

Primary Authority Partnerships

Businesses that trade across multiple local authority areas often face challenges ensuring they comply (and can show that they comply) with legislation as interpreted by each authority they trade in. The aim of Primary Authority is to ensure that local regulation is consistent at a national level and sufficiently flexible to address local circumstances.


What is Primary Authority?

How can it help?

Is this just for large businesses?

Can I team up with other businesses & create a partnership together?

What sorts of businesses have these partnerships?

Can I enter a partnership with any authority?

Why should I choose Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards?

Is this free?

Can it still save me money?

Our Partnerships


What Is Primary Authority?

Primary Authority enables a business to form a statutory partnership with one local authority that then becomes their primary contact, providing robust and reliable advice for other local authorities to take into account.

This short video gives an insight into how Primary Authority works:

How Can It Help?

Once the partnership has been signed and officially recognised by the Regulatory Delivery (RD), any advice given by your partner must be respected by all local regulators. This advice would be “Assured Advice” and enables businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures.

Once a Primary Authority has been formally adopted, local authorities can contact the Primary Authority rather than the business itself, cutting down on the number of requests you receive from other regulators. The Primary Authority can then offer evidence of a business’s compliance with legislation.

Primary Authority can be quite flexible in what they do and do not cover, and how they can help a business. You can find out more about what a Partnership can offer at the RD website, or contact us.

Why not take a look at this recent booklet that highlights some notable success stories for Primary Authority.

Is This Just For Large Businesses?

No matter what size the business is, Primary Authority can help cut through red tape, as long as you trade across more than one local authority area. It can be particularly helpful for growing businesses with limited resources but many potential compliance issues, who will get one point of contact for advice rather than having to worry about differing ways of showing compliance with the law across multiple authorities.

Can I Team With Other Businesses & Create A Partnership Together?

Even if you only trade in one local authority area, recent changes to the law mean you may still be able to enter a Partnership if you team up with at least one other business (that trades in a different local authority area) and agree to share an approach to compliance. For example, if you run a farm shop in Somerset, you could potentially team with other farm shops in different areas and enter a Partnership together. An approach to compliance would then be developed across all the businesses, which could potentially cut down on the amount of work individual businesses need to undertake when showing they comply with the law. This works particularly well for the likes of trade association members, company groups and franchisees.

What Sorts Of Businesses Have These Partnerships?

All sorts of companies have entered into Primary Authority, particularly those with multiple premises across numerous authorities and/or who have to deal with potentially complex compliance issues.

The Department For Business, Energy and Industrial Stragegy reports that of those who’ve entered Partnerships, 42% are in retail or wholesale, 22% are in manufacturing, 9% are in the hospitality sector, with the rest from a range of other business sectors including financial, telecommunications and entertainment. There are currently 16422 businesses in 17696 Primary Authority partnerships across the UK. You can see which businesses are in partnerships with local authorities on the Primary Authority Register website.

Can I Enter A Partnership With Any Authority?

Yes and no. While there are no rules saying exactly which local authority you would have to enter a partnership with (for instance, it does not have to be where your head office is), before a Primary Authority is formally sanctioned by the Regulatory Delivery, they will look at whether it makes sense for that particular business and local authority to link up.

Why Should I Choose Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards?

We cover one of the largest areas of any Trading Standards authority in the UK and therefore deal with all manner of companies, from micro-businesses to large corporations. We have expertise in how a wide range of businesses operate – from farming to cutting-edge manufacturing – and how to make it easier for them to comply with trading law.

We’re also particularly well suited for Partnerships with those looking to meet the challenge of rural business. You do not need to be headquartered in Devon, Somerset or Torbay, although we would normally expect the region to be one of your major trading areas.

Our Trading Standards Service can offer a Partnership in the following regulatory areas: Age Restricted Products, Agriculture, Animal Health & Welfare, Explosives Licensing, Fair Trading, Food Standards, Metrology, Petroleum Storage, Product Safety and Road Traffic.

Get in touch to discuss your needs and we can give you more information on how we might be able to help to cut through the red tape.

Is This Free?

No. While basic advice on trading law is available to all businesses, for the more in-depth demands of a Primary Authority, Trading Standards will charge a fee.

The exact costs will be dealt with individually as each partnership is bespoke and will depend on the time and level of service agreed. All charges will be agreed before the partnership is signed and will only be what we can reasonably charge to deliver the service (as defined by government guidance).

Can It Still Save Me Money?

Potentially yes, which is one of the reasons thousands of businesses across the UK have entered Partnerships. Rather than spending time, effort and money developing and implementing different compliance plans across many different authorities, a Primary Authority allows you to have one central plan that everyone can follow wherever they are in the UK.

It may also save you money by giving advice that can be followed across the country. With a Partnership, a business knows that advice given by the Primary Authority will be respected across the UK as it is assured advice.

A Partnership lets you know how to deal with trading law across the UK, and the (often cheap) precautions you actually have to take, which should then be respected by all local authorities. It can make trading easier, cheaper and less about red tape.

Our Current Partnerships

Westcountry Family Butchers Ltd
Devon Norse Ltd
Mole Valley Farmers Ltd
Fiesta Studios Ltd
Red Hot Lemon Ltd
Brent Cars Ltd
HK4 Group Ltd
Andrew Brownsword Hotels Ltd
Aston Manor Brewery Co Ltd
Redvers & Denzil Rice Farms Ltd
Group Silverline Ltd
Nick Hess Trading Ltd
Wilton Bradley Ltd
Buy With Confidence Partnership

For more information on Primary Authority, contact us or head to the Primary Authority Register website.