How to start an activity as an itinerant trader, sell products on a market, a fair or within a festival setting? To occupy a public area, the trader must first make a request to the relevant commune, even if this is an exceptional occupation or just for a one-off event. Each commune sets its own rules. You will need to pay a fee and in be prepared to give your request the necessary time for approval.
Whether you are craftsperson or a retailer, you will need to obtain an itinerant trader card (« carte de marchand ambulant ») delivered by a recognised enterprise service (« guichet d’entreprise ») to occupy a public space for commercial purposes. Some communes distinguish different procedures according to the nature of the activity – itinerant (ice-cream, food-truck, etc.) or fixed. Activities which include musique, food tasting, promotion, etc. sometimes require additional permits. Don’t forget the FASFC, Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA, Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire) authorisations if you plan to serve food.
Certain fees may apply to this procedure, please enquire about this when contacting the relevant service of the local authority.
Documents you will need to provide
To process the application, each commune will require a set of documents which may for instance include (depending on the commune):
- articles of incorporation
- ID document of the owner
- place, date and time of the activity, and its duration
- products and services that will be sold
- surface area required and the type of installations that will be set up
- documents and a photo of the vehicle.
Most of the municipal procedures can be found in IRISbox.