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Home authority and primary authority scheme

If you're a business owner, we can help ensure that you have a fair and safe environment, and are complying with current legislation.

We provide free business advice, inspect companies according to risk, and guide business owners on what to do if they don't comply with legislation. We may investigate complaints against businesses and advise businesses about product recalls.

To help facilitate your operations, your business can enter into either a home authority or primary authority relationship with us.

Home authority

The home authority principle is a scheme that provides contact points for advice and guidance to maintain public protection, encourage fair trade and develop a consistent approach to enforcement. A home authority relationship can also assist businesses to trade successfully in other parts of the UK.

If you're a sole trader and only have one site or office, the home authority is the local authority where this is located. This also applies to businesses trading over the Internet. For a business with multiple branches or stores throughout the UK, the home authority is usually the local authority where the head office is located.

A business which produces goods and services in a different location from its head office will have contact with the local authorities at those sites. These local authorities must ensure the business complies with all relevant legislation.

Your home authority may carry out a number of roles, including visits to monitor your company policies and acting as a contact point for other local authorities. Your business should cooperate with its home authority by:

  • complying with relevant legislation, and being willing to disclose all relevant details
  • being prepared to supply evidence to support statements, procedures and claims
  • accepting advice and recognising that it may change due to legislation

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to enforce the law in their areas and undertake investigations and inspections of a business, even if they are not its home authority. However, the home authority principle encourages these local authorities to liaise with a business's home authority before taking enforcement action.

To apply to have a home authority, contact the local authority where your head office is located. They will advise an agreement that reflects the level of commitment which can be agreed.

For more information, email trading.standards@enfield.gov.uk.

Primary authority scheme

This scheme ensures that companies trading in different areas have access to reliable advice and consistency in local regulations, through partnerships with local officials. This can cover a range of services, for example environmental health, health and safety and/or trading standards matters. Assured advice given by the primary authority should be accepted across council boundaries and the primary authority will liaise with other councils to ensure inspection and enforcement reflects this advice.

Companies signed up to the scheme can produce national inspection plans to minimise duplication of checks.

For more information, visit the Better Regulation Office.