Business advice services
From start-ups and small businesses to importers and manufacturers, we can help you navigate complex legislation to protect your business and support good customer service.
Our professional advice and support will reduce risk while allowing businesses to grow and invest with confidence. Whether you want clarity on a specific issue or a solution to a complex problem, we can provide the help you need.
Advice is delivered by our dedicated business advice team of experienced Trading Standards Officers.
We offer businesses in the Kent County Council area, a regulatory needs assessment with one of our officers to discuss your needs. During the assessment, we will identify how we can help you. Depending on your requirements we may be able to signpost you to guidance which is free of charge; failing that we can provide you with chargeable advice tailored to your business or a full package of support. Any costs will be discussed during the assessment.
For businesses outside the county, we offer a regulatory needs assessment to discuss your needs. Any subsequent advice is chargeable.
To request a regulatory needs assessment email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk with your name, contact number, business name, address and a brief description of your enquiry.
Our Trading Standards Get It Right Protect Your Business guide (PDF, 2.8 MB) explains your legal obligations as a trader and gives you a few simple but practical steps to follow for contracts, paperwork and cancellation rights. This guide will help protect your business and ensure you comply with the law.
To make sure your business’ website is compliant with relevant regulations read our website health checklist (PDF, 547.3 KB).
You can also find free advice and guidance on the Business Companion website.
Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for professional advice services on trading regulations, business continuity and find out how Scientific Services can help your business stay on the right path.
Trading Standards offers professional business advice on the following areas:
Food labelling and composition:
- labelling (including label analysis)
- health and nutrition claims
- risk assessment and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- recalls and withdrawals.
Safety of consumer products including, toys, electrical goods, cosmetics and construction products:
- risk and safety assessment
- technical files
- due diligence.
Consumer and trader rights:
- consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
- cancellation of contracts - if you agree work in a consumers home you can use our free cancellation notice templates
- terms and conditions
- online selling
- selling to consumers in their home.
We also offer advice on:
- fair trading (including pricing)
- sale of secondhand goods - most sellers of second hand goods in Kent need to be registered, find out if you need to register
- sale of age restricted goods (e.g. alcohol, cigarettes)
- weights and measures (if you weigh or measure goods to sell to consumers, the law states that your equipment must be both suitable and accurate. The law also covers the manufacture and approval of this equipment and lays down requirements about specific quantities in which certain goods must be sold)
- farming, animal health and welfare, animal feed
- business scams and cyber crime
- explosives and petroleum storage.
We offer a regulatory needs assessment to identify the advice you need. To request an assessment email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk with a brief description of your enquiry.
Any chargeable business advice is provided at a cost recovery of £80 per hour + VAT (£96) with a minimum charge of 30 minutes of officer time. Read our fees and charges.
There is no charge for advice on animal health to farmers; if you have any queries or concerns, complete our online advice form or call 03000 41 20 20 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).
We offer free advice on compliance with Natasha’s Law:
- read our information about Natasha's Law and food information regulations
- to get advice email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk.
We can also offer analysis of food, animal feed and cosmetics and label checking in partnership with our accredited Public Analyst, Kent Scientific Services.
To find out how we use your personal information, read our privacy notice.
We offer businesses a legally recognised partnership through Primary Authority (PDF, 374.0 KB) to provide professional, assured, regulatory advice that enables the businesses to trade with confidence.
A dedicated Trading Standards Officer will work with your business to provide tailored advice and support to act as a single point of contact for other trading standards authorities both to co-ordinate and provide evidence of your compliance.
The minimum package is 10 hours to include initial set up as a Primary Authority including registration on the Regulatory Delivery website and an action planning meeting. To discuss Primary Authority for your business, email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk.
Tailored pre-paid packages to provide set up, advice, consultancy and other services are also available. Read our fees and charges.
For more information, visit the Primary Authority Register website.
For information on how we handle your data, read our Trading Standards Primary Authority privacy notice.
We work with businesses to help them comply with consumer legislation and ensure honest trading and a fair market place. Training is fundamental to this, whether for a business owner, your managers or your staff.
All training is designed and delivered by our experienced Trading Standards professionals. The benefits of attending one of our courses is that you will receive practical and professional advice directly from those responsible for enforcing the law. Courses can be tailored to suit your individual business.
Businesses often realise they need training after they receive complaints or are subject to an investigation. We can help prevent such events affecting your business and promote ‘due diligence’. We can deliver on-site bespoke training to meet your business needs.
If you require further information email TSbusinessadvice@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 41 20 20 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
We can offer bespoke training in the following areas:
Consumer rights act for businesses
This course focuses upon the civil legal framework for the supply of good and services. Examining the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that replaced the Sale of Goods Act.
Find out how a contract is formed, what constitutes a breach of contract and how to enforce a contract.
A comprehensive overview of food labelling requirements under the Food Information Regulations 2014. Topics covered include Natasha's Law, allergens and nutrition labelling.
Age restricted sales
From alcohol to tobacco many products are subject to age restricted controls. We can provide training for staff to show that businesses have taken appropriate steps to comply with the legislation.
Customer service and complaints handling
Find out how to make sure your business complies with the law and reduce the burden of complaints.
Find out the most efficient and effective way to do this when your business has a problem with a product.