Information for traders

Have you got what it takes to become a trader?

Are you an established trader looking for a fresh and exciting place to sell? Are you a young entrepreneur with a brilliant business idea? Want to expand your current business, but not sure how? If the answer to any of these questions is yes... you might be just what we're looking for!

We're looking for new traders to join us in our Victorian covered market and weekly outdoor market. Becoming a market trader is a great way to start up your own business with minimal cost or overheads and can be a great opportunity for self-employment.

Interested? Get in touch and find out how we can help your business ideas grow!

Market regulations and byelaws

Market regulations and byelaws [pdf document]

Outdoor markets rules and regulations

Casual traders – step 1 (attending the market for the first time)

  • Contact the Markets Office for availability of stalls on 07966487773
  • Registration fee is £5, payable on first attendance
  • Insurance liability cover is required (to include £5m public and £5m product) as well as proof of identity (driving licence or passport)
  • You must call the markets office to confirm attendance on 07966487773 by 12pm on the Friday before the Saturday or Monday market (depending on which you are booked in for) - this is so we can prepare a site plan. If you do not contact us, we cannot erect a stall for you.
  • Stalls will not be erected until you are present on the day of the market - if you don't arrive before 7:30am we cannot set up a stall for you.

Provision of personal data

We will ask for proof of identity when you apply to trade for the first time. This is to enable your data to be matched with the immigration data provided by the UK Border Agency to identify where individuals have no right to work or stay in the UK.

Also, upon application, we will also request photo ID and proof of address ID (such as a utility bill) to evidence the information required on the relevant forms. This applies to all of our outdoor markets and enables this Council to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). We already notify traders that the application form will be made available to all relevant Government agencies.

Since 1996 the Audit Commission has run the NFI, a data-matching exercise which matches electronic data within and between participating bodies to prevent and detect fraud.

Continuing casual attendance

  • You must contact the markets office the Friday before the Saturday/Monday. Market on 07966487773 to confirm attendance – failure to do so will result in the stall not being erected
  • You must arrive before 7.30am on the day of the market – failure to arrive on time will result in no stall
  • following regular attendance of 4 weeks, casual traders will normally be allocated a regular position/stall

When you become a regular trader

  • traders are allocated 4 free weeks holiday each full year/ or pro-rata. Holiday bookings will not be accepted on the day of the market
  • you must inform the markets office on 07966487773 if you are going to be absent for a market. If you don't, we will have to charge you full rent.

Market cancellation due to bad weather conditions

  • if the market is cancelled due to bad weather, we are not responsible for contacting traders on the morning of the market being cancelled
  • please contact us on 07966487773 if weather warnings have been broadcast on the day of the market
  • tolls will not be charged for cancelled markets.

How we let the stalls

For the open market, we operate a policy of controlling the balance of goods. This is to ensure a wide mix of produce. 

The covered market stalls and shops operate under lease arrangements.

Gazebo and table hire

We offer a gazebo and table hire service. For more information, please view the gazebo and table hire information pack [pdf document] call 07966487773 or email

Free market stall

We offer Darlington-based business start-ups the opportunity (as a one off, once a year) to have a stall on a Monday or Saturday on the outdoor market free of charge, to help promote and showcase their business and also to reach a new customer base.

A fully weather proof gazebo (measuring 3m sq) can be provided, together with tables and lighting/power if required. Businesses can book an available stall and stock up with an attractive display. Businesses may not want to sell anything but just use it as an advertising medium handing out literature, leaflets or business cards. 

Once you’ve had a taste of trading at the markets for free, there is an opportunity to sign up for a series of non contractual stall hire for £20 a day on a Monday and Saturday. Established businesses are all entitled to this opportunity. It can be a very cheap way to reach a new customer base!

If you are a new or established business wanting to take up this offer, please contact markets on 07966487773 or email

Free charity stall

We offer local charities the opportunity (as a one off, once a year) to have a stall on a Monday or Saturday on the outdoor market free of charge, to help promote and showcase their charity and also to reach a new customer base.

A fully weather proof gazebo (measuring 3m sq) can be provided, together with tables and lighting/power if required. Charities can book an available stall and present an attractive display. Charities can use this opportunity to advertise, handing out literature, leaflets or promotional merchandise. 

If you are a charity wanting to take up this offer, please contact markets on 07966487773 or email

Vacant stalls in the covered market

For further information on the vacant units available in the covered market, contact Robert Young on 01325 406317.

Wi-Fi access

Market traders at the covered market can use the free Wi-Fi to enable them to trade online and continue their business at work as well as at home.

Other markets

Because Darlington is a charter market, it has the legal right to control other markets (which includes table top sales, car boot sales and fairs) to a distance of 6 2/3 miles from its markets. 

Any person seeking to operate these types of event (including car boot sales and table top sales) should always check with the markets office first and also with the local planning office where appropriate.

In order to determine whether an event is a market, we use the standard legal definition: ‘a concourse of buyers and sellers’.

Useful links for traders