A Primary Authority Partnership can help to ensure your business remains legally compliant. 

It enables businesses to form a legal partnership with a local authority, to receive assured and consistent advice on specific areas of regulation applicable to your business. It makes it easier and simpler to comply with legislation in the following areas:

  • Trading Standards
  • Environmental Health
  • fire safety

It can help to reduce the risk of non-compliance as other local authority enforcement officers must take account of this advice when inspecting and contacting your business. Proposed enforcement action that is inconsistent with Primary Authority advice would be examined carefully and may be stopped. 


Your business can form a Primary Authority partnership with a local authority whatever your size, whether you are a sole trader operating in one local authority area, or a larger regional or national company trading across multiple local authority areas, or if you only trade online.

Businesses that operate as part of a group, such as trade associations and franchises, can also benefit from entering into a Primary Authority partnership.

More detailed information about Primary Authority Partnerships can be found on GOV.UK.

Why partner with Dorset Council?

A Primary Authority Partnership with Dorset Council can provide significant benefits, including:

  • confidence that you are operating within the law
  • receiving all your regulatory support in one place
  • having a single point of contact for enquiries, with agreed response times
  • access to assured, professional and tailored regulatory advice
  • support with complaint monitoring to identify trends
  • developing a positive and collaborative relationship with local regulators
  • reduce cost and confusion which can be caused by conflicting advice

Dorset Council has Primary Authority partnerships with many businesses across a variety of sectors, including:

  • The Hobbycraft Group
  • The House of Sarunds
  • UK Postbox Ltd
  • Fladden Fishing UK
  • Kondor Ltd
  • The Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIDBA) 
  • CC Moore

These videos from our partner businesses show how we can work better together to help businesses grow whilst also saving time and money.




What is included

Dorset Council is a unitary authority that has a great team of specialist officers who cover a wide range of regulatory disciplines, including:

  • health and safety 
  • food safety and food standards
  • fair trading
  • licensing
  • agriculture 
  • animal welfare 
  • weights and measures
  • product safety

Advice can be provided on a reactive basis, for example in relation to a business query, or on a proactive basis, where your business may want input into a review of a particular process.  

Currently we cannot offer in-house primary authority advice on fire safety. However if this is required we would be able to assist you in finding a suitable Primary Authority partner to provide this service.

Pricing options

Depending on your business and the support required, we have a range of pricing options available. 

A Primary Authority Partnership aims to reduce costs of regulatory compliance for businesses and  is operated on a cost-recovery basis. 

For further information, including our fee structure please contact trading standards.