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If a business offers credit, lends money to consumers or allows customers time to pay for goods and services, it must be licensed with the Consumer Credit Licensing Bureau or the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Licensing types

The following types of businesses must be licensed with the Office of Fair Trading

Types of business requiring a licence
Type of businessType of credit licence needed
Consumer credit Category A
Consumer hire Category B
Credit brokerage Category C
Debt adjusting Category D
Non commercial debt adjusting Category D2
Debt counselling Category E
Non-commercial debt counselling Category E2
Debt collecting Category F
Debt administration Category G
Provision of credit information services Category H1
Provision of credit information services - excluding credit repair Category H
Provision of non-commercial credit information services Category H3
Credit reference agency Category I
Canvassing of trade premises Category Z 

The Office of Fair Trading holds a public record of all licensed traders and those who have applied for a licence. They can provide details to the public about licensed businesses, such as the types of activities they cover, their authorised trading names and main business activities.

Blackpool Trading Standards enforces the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act including dealing with businesses that offer credit without a licence.