Do I Need a License to Distribute Leaflets? featured image

Do I Need a License to Distribute Leaflets?


If you’re wondering, do I need a license to distribute leaflets? Then this quick read outlines everything you need to know. It’s based on general guidance from local councils here in Derby, Burton-on-Trent, and the UK.

Do I Need a Licence to Distribute Leaflets?

Disclaimer: the information provided in this article is based on our local area. Always check your local council website.

The Different Types of Leaflet Distribution

There are three main types of flyer distribution or leaflet marketing that you’ll come across:

Hand-to-Hand Distribution

Hand-to-hand distribution is when you hand out your flyers or leaflets to passers-by. It’s generally carried out in high footfall areas such as city centres and outside of large stores.

Residential Distribution

Conversely, residential distribution is when you print and post your flyer or leaflet through the letterbox of people’s home addresses. This is also sometimes known as door-to-door distribution.

B2B or business-to-business distribution

Business-to-business distribution is when your flyer or leaflet is taken directly into another business premises and handed to someone who works there. Furthermore, B2B can apply to networking events and trade shows. Anywhere that you have the opportunity to give another business your flyer.

Which do I need a license for?

Simply put, you’ll need to pay for a license from your local council if you plan on handing out flyers hand-to-hand. Additionally, you’ll often need to reserve the space in which you’ll operate.

Some charities, political parties, and religious materials may be exempt from needing a license.

For both residential and B2B distribution, a license is not required. But, again, please check with your local council if you are planning to deliver outside of Derby or Burton.

Do I Need a License to Distribute Leaflets – Conclusion

Do I need a license to distribute leaflets?

No – As long as you deliver the leaflets or flyers residentially or directly to a business property. However, a license will be required if you plan on handing them out in the street. So, once more, please check with your local council for the procedures in your area.

Although you don’t need a license to deliver to residential addresses, you do need to follow some basic distribution etiquette:

  • Always make sure the flyer or leaflet is pushed through the letterbox. None of it should be visible from the outside.
  • If the gate is closed when you arrive, ensure it’s closed when you leave.
  • Respect the ‘no junk mail’ sign, always.
  • Don’t walk across people’s gardens.

Information sources:

Derby City Council

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Thanks for reading!

Mike Hindle – Founder & Owner
Clearcut Derby

High-impact leaflet distribution campaigns in Derby, Derbyshire, Burton-on-Trent & Staffordshire.